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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Examining climate change frames in education, policy, and science Pham, Chi


Globally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are two influential establishments that work on synthesizing scientific knowledge and fostering policy action on climate change, respectively. In parallel to these, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has become a key player in setting and driving the global agenda for how the education sector can respond to the climate crisis. This study examines how the three international organizations communicate their messages and appeal to their intended stakeholders through the adoption of frames. Frames establish specific lens through which problems, causes, solutions, and moral evaluations of phenomena are defined and made salient to the audience. Through a frame analysis of publications, reports, and documents released by UNESCO, the UNFCCC, and the IPCC, the study seeks to understand how communication about climate change is shaped by some of the most eminent organizations in climate change education, policy, and science at the global level. I spotlight UNESCO’s Climate Change Education initiative and its corresponding publications, as well as major accords and reports by the UNFCCC and IPCC respectively. The findings include a comprehensive comparison among the organizations and their overlaps and gaps in climate change frames. The study further advances discussions on the use of frame theory in informing and strengthening policymaking in the context of the climate crisis. I also propose a framework in which frames may serve as an effective tool for advancing policy agendas of climate change.

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