The Lawfare Podcast: Karen Sokol and Chris Callahan on Climate Justice: The Interplay of Science, Law, and Policy

Jen Patja, Hyemin Han, Karen Sokol, Christopher W. Callahan
Monday, November 21, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Over the weekend, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 27, went into overtime as nations came to an historic agreement to establish a loss and damage fund. This fund is meant to give resources to countries who have experienced the worst effects of climate change. Some like to think of it as climate reparations.

There are a lot of factors that might have created the momentum for this historic agreement to go through after many years. An interesting one is that it's becoming more and more difficult for big emitters like the United States to deny their role in contributing to climate change, particularly as new scientific studies have been pivotal in creating a pretty unimpeachable basis for climate responsibility. But, just because science can verify certain realities does not mean that it's a straight path forward for climate justice.

To get a sense of what factors are coming together to achieve climate justice, Lawfare associate editor Hyemin Han merges the legal and policy perspective with the science perspective in a conversation with Karen Sokol, a professor at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and a fellow at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and Chris Callahan, a PhD candidate at Dartmouth College who co-produced a scientific study that informed negotiations on loss and damage at COP 27.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of the Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Hyemin Han is an associate editor of Lawfare and is based in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked in eviction defense and has interned on Capitol Hill and with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth independent daily.
Karen Sokol is a professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and Fellow in Law, Ethics, & Public Policy at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. She serves as a Member Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform.
Christopher Callahan is a PhD student at Dartmouth College in the Climate Modeling and Impacts Group. His research examines the human impacts of climate change, with a particular focus on the economic effects of extreme climate events.

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