01 / 08 / 2023

By analysing the way climate change loss and damage (L&D) is framed in nationally determined contributions (NDCs), this article investigates how parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change make sense of the concept. Building on an original database of 313 active and archived NDCs, we employ frame analysis to identify the countries that mention L&D in these documents; map how they frame it, both in terms of the types of impacts that are relevant for the national context and the responses that are planned or adopted; and explore how this has changed over time. We find that L&D is not perceived as a “small islands issue” anymore and that a growing number of middle- and high-income countries are referring to the concept in their NDCs. We also observe increasing levels of specificity about the types of economic and noneconomic L&D incurred or projected and about national responses, including those focused on knowledge generation, institutional arrangements, and sectoral adaptation measures. Theoretically, the article advances understandings of how national policy actors translate the ill-defined L&D global agenda for the national level. At the same time, it illustrates how they attempt to shape it by advancing nationally informed L&D framings, therefore hinting toward an emerging “two-level ideational game” in this area of global governance.

Read the full text here: