Colette Pichon Battle is an award-winning lawyer and climate justice organizer. She is a trusted voice in the climate justice and Black liberation movements, and her work focuses on creating spaces for frontline communities to gather and advance climate strategies that help us steward the water, energy, and land. A generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana, she is a 2019 Obama Fellow and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the 2023 Heinz Award for the Environment, the 2022 Catalyst Award from Rachel’s Network, and the 2022 William O. Douglas Award.
Colette is the co-founder and Vision & Initiatives Partner for Taproot Earth and is a former corporate lawyer. Internationally, Colette has gained recognition for her outstanding use of the legal and judicial process to achieve environmental goals. After 17 years of work leading the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy’s development of programming focused on equitable climate resilience in the Gulf South, in 2022, she expanded her vision into Taproot Earth, inspired by her learnings with GCCLP and movement partners across the South.
When not working to save the world, you can find Colette spending her free time in rural Louisiana, amongst the land, waters, and people who have poured love and nourishment into her from birth.
Climate change will displace millions.Here’s how we prepare: Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 — a crisis of “climate migration” the world isn’t ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle.
In this talk, viewed over 3.6 million times, she urges us to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration — and caused it in the first place — and shares how we can cultivate collective resilience, better prepare before disaster strikes and advance human rights for all.
Colette Pichon Battle on Protecting the Louisiana Bayou: In this speech, Colette addresses an audience in San Francisco, highlighting the urgent climate crisis and calling for collective action. She challenges the audience to move beyond individual actions and tackle the crisis’s root causes, including a system driven by profit, exploitation, and inequality. Colette calls for solidarity, imagination, and courage to bring about transformative change and urges everyone to fight for a just and sustainable future.