Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

International Conservation and Development

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Dr. Brian C. Chaffin

Commitee Members

Dr. Sarah Halvorson, Dr. Emily Boyd


Loss and Damage, climate change, climate policy


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Policy


As the impacts of anthropogenic climate change mount, climate- related harms, both economic and non-economic, occur across every inhabited continent and disproportionately affect the world’s most vulnerable people. In response, the Loss and Damage agenda of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has emerged to address those climate-related harms that exceed human capacities for mitigation and adaptation. Significant questions remain regarding how losses and damages emerge across the globe and how Loss and Damage policy will be implemented to address those impacts. This thesis explores two specific questions: (1) national-level Loss and Damage policy mechanisms; and (2) perceptions of losses and damages among agricultural producers in the global north. The first study leverages a framework-guided analysis of national climate policies from Chile to assess the presence, absence, and potential of national-level Loss and Damage policy mechanisms within this country. Although Chile’s current climate strategies do not mirror the global Loss and Damage policy agenda, certain elements are clearly present. Results suggest limited relevance for event attribution at the national level, countering an ongoing debate on the significance of attribution for addressing losses and damages from a global perspective. The second study explores losses and damages in Montana, USA, a context not historically framed as a target of global Loss and Damage policy. Through a survey of Montana farmers and ranchers’ experiences with extreme events, evidence of both economic and non-economic harms is found among respondents, as well as a potential threshold at which agriculturists may change livelihoods given consistent recurrence of extreme events. Overall, this work provides insight into the relevance of the global Loss and Damage agenda and its various elements across a wide range of societal levels and geopolitical contexts, and can prove valuable as individuals, communities, and nations around the world grapple with the impending and accelerating impacts of climate change.



© Copyright 2022 Elizabeth Grace Tobey