Climate Refugees and the Challenge of Statehood: Defining the Problem, Identifying Solutions with William S. Richardson School of Law Professor Maxine Burkett

Thursday, October 17, 2013
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Room 121
Event Type
Law-Int'l + Homepage
Jennifer Marshall

Climate Refugees and the Challenge of Statehood: Defining the Problem, Identifying Solutions

Please join the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy (YCELP) and the Yale Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) on Thursday, October 17, for a conversation with Maxine Burkett, a professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law and former director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy.
Her talk, which examines climate change and island communities -- with a specific focus on climate-induced migration and the challenges of statelessness -- begins at 12:30 PM in Yale Law School’s Room 121. It is free and open to the public.

The talk is part of a semester-long speaker series titled From Mitigation to Adaptation: Regional Responses to Climate Change. With efforts to mitigate climate pollution floundering or, at best, moving forward only incrementally, adaptation strategies are increasingly important. Following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, which made plain the vulnerability of the U.S. coasts, President Obama’s climate policy speech in summer 2013 gave climate adaptation policy equal billing with climate mitigation. The series, co-hosted by YCELP and YCEI, highlights regional and local approaches to climate adaptation, and how those strategies fit within the larger context of climate change mitigation.

Maxine Burkett is an Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i. Professor Burkett attended Williams College and Exeter College, Oxford University, and received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. An expert in the law and policy of climate change, she has presented her research on diverse areas of climate law throughout the United States and in West Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. From 2009-2012 Professor Burkett also served as the inaugural Director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy (ICAP). At ICAP, she led projects to address climate change law, policy, and planning for island communities.  In its first three years, ICAP published six major climate adaptation policy documents for Hawai‘i and other Pacific Island nations.  It also hosted numerous outreach and education programs on island resiliency and climate change and engaged state, national, and Asia-Pacific regional entities. In 2010, Burkett served as the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, where she was the Fall scholar for the Center’s “Climate Ethics and Climate Equity” theme of inquiry.  She is the youngest scholar to have held the Wayne Morse Chair.

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