From Rhetoric to Action: The Impact of Framings in Climate Change Communication and Adaptation Actions.
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- PhD theses (TN-ISØP) 
Original versionFrom Rhetoric to Action: The Impact of Framings in Climate Change Communication and Adaptation Actions by Chinwel Philomina Oramah, Stavanger : University of Stavanger, 2023 (PhD thesis UiS, no. 732)
Climate change is a global threat that has led to international attention, frameworks, and agreements. Climate-related hazards will likely pose socio-political challenges, resulting in numerous security issues. This study sheds light on the way climate change information is framed and how this influences how stakeholders perceive climate change and consequently make decisions. The study aims to analyse the value of framing in climate change communication and its implications for Nigeria’s adaptation process. The study focuses on the climate change debate between 1994 and 2020, with a focus on the period between 2015-2020, which was a significant turning point in Nigeria’s securitization of climate change. The purpose of the thesis is to increase our knowledge of climate change framings by investigating risk and security framings—two prominent framings in climate change communication—and how they influence adaptation in Nigeria. To do so, the thesis sets out to answer three research questions: 1. Why is security framing becoming more prevalent than risk framing in the Nigerian climate change debate? 2. How do the values in security framing influence the adaptation process in Nigeria? 3. How do the values and principles of risk framing influence adaptation in Nigeria? The thesis addresses these research questions through qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and nonparticipant observation, focusing mainly on the two Nigerian states of Anambra and Enugu. The thesis finds that the climate security frame, with an emphasis on the existential threat and the need for urgent action, was popular and widely supported by elite political actors, the media, state and federal actors, as well as recent government documents. In contrast, climate risk framing that emphasises uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity was less popular among the elite actors but is widely supported by local actors, NGOs, research institutes, the media, and previous government documents. Despite the risk frame not being so popular among the political elite, it remains a powerful frame, providing an alternative narrative that points to climate change as a threat multiplier. The influence of climate risk can be traced to scientific evidence that climate security issues are influenced by hazard exposure, existing vulnerability (social and political), and poor adaptive capacity. This thesis finds that the climate security frame is mainly used as political rhetoric, with a quest for climate justice and holding the international community responsible and accountable for adaptation. Using security framing in climate change communication has significant implications for adaptation. This is because, while the elite actors successfully use security frames to communicate their messages at the international and national levels, they have been less successful at the grassroots level. There are two reasons for this failure. One is the constant use of communication channels that are unavailable to people at the grassroots level. The other is that securitization settings are not accessible to local actors. This implies that vulnerable people and communities are often not effectively informed about climate change and are therefore excluded from the securitization process. Communicating climate security to audiences at the international and national levels is not enough to spur adaptation action that takes place locally. Therefore, the study challenges the prevailing idea that securitizing climate-related problems will lead to urgent adaptation action. Instead, I argue that attention needs to be paid to the grammar, setting, and audience of securitization. This is because the response to climate change information will be influenced by people’s perception, experience, understanding of climate risk, cultural beliefs and values, and societal dynamics. The study discusses risk as a complementary frame alongside the security frame, which, if combined effectively, can act as a good formula for adaptation. The risk frame acknowledges the impact of non-climatic vulnerabilities on climate-related security issues and how reducing vulnerabilities can influence adaptation positively. The study argues that elements in the risk frame, such as deliberative communication, credibility, collaboration, and trust, can act as critical moderators for climate change communication and participatory adaptation.
PhD thesis in Risk management and societal safety
Has partsPaper 1: Oramah, C.P., Gould, K.A.P. & Olsen, O.E.F. (Submitted for review). Effects of Risk and Security framings on climate change adaptation understandings: Assessing policies and strategies in Nigeria's climate crisis debate. This paper is not included in the repository because it is not yet published.
Paper 2: Oramah, C.P., Olsen, O.E.F. & Gould, K.A.P. (2022) Assessing the impact of the securitization narrative on climate change adaptation in Nigeria. Environmental Politics, 31:6, 1037-1057, DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2021.1970456
Paper 3: Oramah, C.P., Olsen, O.E.F. (2020) Equity and Justice in Climate Change Adaptation: Policy and Practical Implication in Nigeria. In W.L.Filho, N. Oguge, D. Ayal, L. Adeleke, & I Da Silva (Eds) African Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42091-8_45-1
Paper 4: Oramah, C.P., Gould, K.A.P. & Olsen, O.E.F. (Submitted for review). Local government climate change adaptation process in southeast Nigeria – assessing the impact of contextual factors. This paper is not included in the repository because it is not yet published.
PublisherUniversity of Stavanger, Norway
SeriesPhD thesis UiS;