View Vacancy - Climate Change Policy and Campaigns Officer - 6 Months Maternity Cover (32/22 PTA)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Policy & Political roles)
Climate Diplomacy

Main purpose of job:

Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our world. The UK has responded with some of the world’s most ambitious legislation and domestic targets, embedding the green economy in all our industrial, research and growth strategies. Internationally, the UK is one of the most significant contributors to international climate finance and active in pressing for global ambition in line with the 2015 Paris agreement to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees.

South Africa is a key strategic partner. 1) The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) between South Africa and the UK, US, France, Germany and the EU (announced at COP26 in Glasgow, November 2021) is all about supporting SA in meeting its ambitious NDC commitments, doing so in a just way.  2) As a developing country under UNFCCC, South Africa is dealing with the twin challenges of adapting to, and building resilience against climate impact that is already occurring and increasing; 3) As an influential member of the Africa Group, the G77 +China, G20, BASICS, SA are a key player in securing real progress within the UNFCCC negotiation process.

The British High Commission is looking for a temporary (Maternity Cover) Climate Change Policy and Campaigns Officer to work with partners across government, NGOs, civil society and business on climate change issues including just energy transition and resilience.

This position plays a central role within the British High Commission to lead on developing and delivering climate campaign activity locally and coordinating work on Climate Change across the Mission.  You will also monitor relevant policy developments in SA, and report on those developments and their implications.  The role includes supporting diplomatic action linked to implementation of the JETP, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in November 2022 and the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in December 2022.

It is an exciting opportunity to be at the heart of this key area of UK-South Africa collaboration. The post holder will contribute to the development of a vision for how to grow a long-term UK-South Africa climate relationship. This role will report to the Head of Climate Change and will be expected to develop strong links with other colleagues working on JETP, Development, Economic Growth, Science and Innovation and Department of International Trade (DIT) teams.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • To develop and lead a campaign strategy of engagement across government, NGOs, civil society and business, drawing on UK domestic policy, practice and experience in support of a just energy transition
  • To maintain an effective understanding of relevant climate developments in South Africa and be able to report on their implications
  • To coordinate implementation of the High Commission's COP27 and Climate Change and Energy strategy for South Africa
  • To ensure this strategy supports long-term decarbonisation and resilience & adaptation objectives in South Africa, including clean growth, just energy transition, transport and industrial decarbonisation, Electric Vehicles, biological diversity and green finance
  • To act as the High Commission’s focal point on climate, developing and owning the bilateral narrative by working closely with, and pulling together the work of JETP advisers, economic, political, development and communications colleagues relevant to climate change
  • To coordinate with Whitehall colleagues on engagement with South Africa, advising on local sensitivities and priorities; this will include contributing to briefing for ministers and senior officials
  • To liaise with the South African government on policy relating to COP27 and COP15, including communications through our respective High Commission networks
  • To plan and implement engagement with non-Government actors including sub-national authorities (cities, states, provinces), business, and civil society
  • To manage Ministerial and official visits from the UK related to the JETP, biological diversity and  other climate-related issues in South Africa
  • To play an active part in the corporate life of the High Commission (including if necessary as a member of any High Commission Committees) to maximise the overall well-being of staff

Resources managed:

The postholder might oversee a climate related outreach budget.

We are looking for a proactive self-starter, able to work well with others and have a flexible approach to work whilst under pressure. Excellent interpersonal and communications skills to build strong relations within the High Commission and with a wide range of stakeholders in South Africa.

  • University degree, preferably in Environmental Science, Climate, Public Policy or related course. 
  • Minimum 5 years of work experience, ideally with some background in working with international stakeholders
  • Ability to demonstrate strong interpersonal, communication and stakeholder relationship skills
  • Be a flexible and creative problem-solver, able to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems, and coordinate coherent and compelling programmes and projects
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Experience providing administrative and logistical support
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and ability to adjust to different audiences
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Team player, driven by values

Language requirements:

Language: English

Level of language required: Fluent

  • Relevant post-graduate course
  • Solid knowledge of South Africa’s climate change policy, its international commitments and institutional framework
  • Sound network of contacts in political arena, government, private sector and civil societies
  • Candidates with prior work experience in International or multilateral programmes will be considered as a plus:

 -Knowledge of financial sector

 -Knowledge of low carbon/green sector

 -Knowledge of infrastructure sector

 -Knowledge of UK climate and energy policy, technology and commercial capabilities, and its global leadership in the subject matter

Seeing the Big Picture, Delivering at Pace, Communicating and Influencing, Working Together
22 August 2022
Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
South Africa
British High Commission
R 609,708.56 per annum
5 September 2022

Learning and development opportunities:

Post has an active Learning and Development committee and there are significant opportunities for learning and growth in this role.

The British High Commission pays in full for the Key Care Plus option on Discovery Health for staff including spouses/partners and dependants.

  • Once you have successfully completed your probation the British High Commission will contribute 9% of your monthly salary to a Provident Fund.
  • Annual leave entitlement of 25 days
  • Working hours per week of 36.5

Working patterns:

The postholder will be required to be office-based at least 5 days in any 2-week period

  • Please complete the application form in full as the information provided is used during screening.
  • Please check your application carefully before you submit, as no changes can be made once submitted.
  • The British High Commission will never request any payment or fees to apply for a position.
  • Employees recruited locally by the British High Commission in Pretoria are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law in South Africa.
  • All candidates must be legally able to work and reside in the country of the vacancy with the correct visa/work permit status or demonstrate eligibility to obtain the relevant permit. 
  • The responsibility lies on the successful candidate to:
  • Obtain the relevant permit
  • Pay fees for the permit
  • Make arrangements to relocate
  • Meet the costs to relocation 
  • The British High Commission do not sponsor visas/work permits except where it may be local practice to do so. 
  • Employees who are not liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary may have their salaries reduced by the equivalent local income tax amount.
  • Information about the Civil Service Success Profiles can be found on this link note:  AA=A1, AO=A2, EO=B3, HEO=C4, SEO=C5
  • Reference checking and security clearances will be conducted on successful candidates.
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This opportunity is closed to applications.