Climate and Land Communications Lead

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) is a non-profit think-tank aiming to support informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK. It is funded by philanthropic foundations and works with an Advisory Board that includes expert academics, MPs and Peers from a range of parties and backgrounds, and civil society in the broadest sense.

We are looking for a communications professional to lead our work on climate change, land and nature.

Following the UK’s adoption of a net zero emissions target last year, discussion has intensified on how the UK needs to change the way it uses its land to help meet this target. An ambition to reach net zero emissions in agriculture by 2040 has been set forward by the National Farmers’ Union.

With the UK’s hosting of the COP26 climate change summit in 2021, the volume is only set to increase on these debates, with greater attention coming from other countries looking to the UK for leadership. There are significant challenges relating to the intersection of a host of issues including nature, biodiversity and rural economies.

The Climate and Land Communications Lead will help to support these national and international debates to play out in an evidenced-based, informed fashion. Working with and convening a broad range of stakeholders, they will develop a programme of public events, journalist briefings and Chatham House-style roundtables to help facilitate important conversations around these multi-faceted issues.

In doing so they will provide a bridge between debate in the UK and overseas in a year that features a number of major international summits relating to these issues.

This work will culminate at COP26 itself, with an opportunity to focus debate on land use and climate as the world’s eyes turn to Glasgow and the hosting of the summit.

We are looking for someone with a strong background in communications, who can establish a new programme of work, developing and implementing strategy. This will involve building relationships with a range of stakeholders in business, civil society and science, both in the UK and abroad.

Ideally you will have some knowledge and experience of the issues already, but for the right candidate this is not entirely necessary. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate strong networking, convening and communication skills, both written and verbal. Equally important is the ability to approach communications strategically, with desired outcomes determining workstreams and deliverables. You will need to be a fast learner and excellent project manager.

In a small team such as ECIU’s, staff need to be flexible, to respond quickly and confidently when events demand, to cover each other’s functions when needed, and to take initiative without waiting for direction. The successful candidate will be a proven self-starter and team player.

Key responsibilities

  • Map out risks, opportunities and key moments of public discussion in the run-up to COP26 for a well evidenced debate on land use decarbonisation in the UK bringing strategic thinking to bear
  • Formulate a plan that spans stakeholder, media, social media and, potentially, parliamentary channels and includes public and private roundtables and briefings
  • Project manage and deliver the plan, working with other members of the ECIU team
  • Build and maintain relations with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Work with international partners to link dialogue in the UK with that at a global level
  • Assess and develop potential plans for dialogue at COP26 itself
  • Write clear and incisive briefing materials

Experience and Competencies

Essential:

  • A genuine interest in the mission and values of ECIU
  • Significant strategic communications experience, both strategy development and implementation
  • Experience in convening a broad range of stakeholders, ability to develop and maintain networks, aptitude for consensus-building
  • Ability to work in a dynamic environment with multiple partners and shifting contexts
  • An understanding of the British media and how it works
  • Strong communication skills, written and verbal. Excellent command of the English language
  • Proven diplomatic and interpersonal skills, good team player
  • Independent highly motivated self-starter, ability to work alone as well as part of a small, flexible team

Desirable:

  • Knowledge of the land use and agriculture sectors, key players and issues, or related areas
  • Knowledge of climate change, key players and issues
  • Experience of working on international communications with global media

Terms and Conditions

This full-time position is offered as a one-year contract. It is possible that the post will continue beyond one year.

Salary is £45–50k per year, depending on experience.

This is advertised as a full-time position, but we are open to making the role part-time with flexible working arrangements. The ECIU team has been mainly working from home over the past few months and we envisage that will continue for weeks and potentially some months to come. Notionally, the post-holder would work from ECIU’s central London office. Some degree of flexibility is necessary, with occasional out-of-hours work needed and setting ‘getting the job done’ as a priority – but this flexibility works both ways.

Travel within the UK may be necessary from time to time. Holiday entitlement is 30 days per year, plus statutory holidays. ECIU also provides an auto-enrolment pension scheme with Aviva.

How to apply

Please send a CV and one-page cover letter to admin@eciu.net before midnight on Sunday 6th December 2020. Interviews will be held in the week commencing December 14th, with the aim of the successful applicant starting as early as possible in the New Year.

Please also include a copy of a recent article or blog published in print or online, preferably on a topic pertinent to climate change or land use.