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Framing Loss and Damage in the UNFCCC Negotiations: The Struggle over Meaning and the Warsaw International Mechanism

Vanhala, L; Hestbaek,, C; Framing Loss and Damage in the UNFCCC Negotiations: The Struggle over Meaning and the Warsaw International Mechanism. Global Environmental Politics (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

How does an idea emerge and gain traction in the international arena when its underpinning principles are contested by powerful players? The adoption in 2013 of The Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) puzzled observers because key state parties, such as the United States, historically opposed the policy. This article examines the role of frame contestation and ambiguity in accounting for the evolution and institutionalization of the “loss and damage” norm within the UNFCCC. The article applies frame analysis to data from coverage of the negotiations and elite interviews. It finds that the emergence of two competing framings, one focused on liability and compensation and the other on risk and insurance, evolved into a single, overarching master frame. This more ambiguous framing allowed parties to attach different meanings to the policy which led to the resolution of differences among parties and the embedding of the idea of loss and damage in international climate policy.

Type: Article
Title: Framing Loss and Damage in the UNFCCC Negotiations: The Struggle over Meaning and the Warsaw International Mechanism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/glep
Language: English
Additional information: This is an accepted manuscript version of an article accepted for publication in Global Environmental Politics.
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1478385
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