Deliberative framing: opening up discussions for local-level public engagement on climate change

Abstract

Impacts from climate change will significantly affect local governance, and efforts to develop adaptation and mitigation policies will require widespread public support. However, public engagement, and discussions of climate change, remains limited. A new approach to public engagement titled, deliberative framing, can help bridge political divides and provide opportunities to discover innovative policy options. This paper reviews deliberative democracy and framing where they have been applied to examine public engagement on climate change. Integrating insights from these fields can help develop a practice of deliberative framing for managing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions at local scales, to complement national and international efforts. This could assist with community-based agenda setting toward greater justice and the public good. Challenges include building capacity for reflexivity, communication, and public engagement among government actors, recognizing there are different ways to frame climate change and designing deliberative forums that are more inclusive of disparate groups and often underrepresented minorities.

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Acknowledgments

The author thanks Dr. Gwendolyn Blue and Dr. Thomas Dietz for their feedback on this project. Thanks also to the reviewers for their time and helpful suggestions.

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Correspondence to Rebecca J. Romsdahl.

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Romsdahl, R.J. Deliberative framing: opening up discussions for local-level public engagement on climate change. Climatic Change (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-020-02754-x

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Keywords

  • Deliberative democracy
  • Framing
  • Climate change
  • Public engagement
  • Local governance