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Foreign Relations & International Law

The Lawfare Podcast: Climate Migration and National Security

Natalie K. Orpett, Erin Sikorsky, Jen Patja
Thursday, September 14, 2023, 8:00 AM
What is the scope of the climate migration crisis?

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

It’s been another brutal summer with seemingly constant natural disasters precipitated by climate change. The United States and other countries have rightfully begun thinking of climate change as a security issue. But extreme weather is not the only challenge we must contend with. There’s also the problem of climate change’s victims, many of whom are forced to leave their homes. 

Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett sat down with Erin Sikorsky, Director of the Center for Climate & Security at the Council on Strategic Risks, to talk about this phenomenon, which is often referred to as climate migration. They discussed the scope of the climate migration crisis, its security implications, and how we can try to mitigate the harm.

Natalie Orpett is the executive editor of Lawfare and deputy general counsel of the Lawfare Institute. She was previously an attorney at the law firm Jenner & Block, where she focused on investigations and government controversies, and also maintained an active pro bono practice. She served as civilian counsel to a defendant in the Guantanamo Military Commissions for more than eight years. She also served as counsel to the National Security and Foreign Policy Legal Team of the Biden-Harris Transition Team.
Erin Sikorsky is the director of the Center for Climate and Security, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington, D.C. She previously led climate and environment analysis across the U.S. intelligence community, serving as deputy director of the Strategic Futures Group on the National Intelligence Council.
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.