Senior Director - Climate Economics & Diplomacy

Opportunity Green

London, with hybrid working
£80,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: environmental policy & campaigning, carbon, climate & energy

Closing date: Monday, 24th June 2024   5 days left

About us: 

Established in 2021, Opportunity Green is a fast-growing not-for-profit organisation that helps to identify and unlock opportunities to tackle climate change. We build ambitious coalitions, support climate vulnerable countries in international negotiations and find innovative legal pathways to fight climate change. We are now looking for a Climate Economics & Diplomacy Senior Director to expand our work on a climate just economy.

What’s the role? 

Economics is the study of the distribution of finite resources across our planet. And yet the profession often seems to forget that resources really are finite, and that distribution must be equitable. The number one argument we hear against most climate measures is economic: what about growth? What about jobs? What’s the business case? Opportunity Green’s Senior Director will develop our narrative to ward off these questions but more fundamentally, bring economics systems change – and how to influence policymakers to incorporate this change into their thinking - to the forefront of all our work. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for any economist who believes that the climate movement needs more economic expertise and can bring ideas on how to embed the necessary change in economic thinking to climate policy. You will be OG’s first economist hire (other than the CEO) and you will have the opportunity to shape our economics strategy.

Initially you will work with our established international shipping policy team, working to ensure that the shipping sector which is historically undertaxed, begins to contribute in financial terms to climate vulnerable countries. Meanwhile, many large shipping companies have large revenue which goes to shareholders in the global north. One of your first projects could be to assess the current geographical imbalance of financial flows from the shipping industry, and work alongside our international shipping team to reimagine the economics of the shipping sector to meet our climate goals. 

A very similar argument can be made on the aviation side. The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) currently only covers intra-EU flights but soon a discussion will be had on whether that should also cover international flights. Opportunity Green believes the EU ETS should cover international flights and that, very importantly, some of the ETS revenue must go to support the climate vulnerable. We are looking for someone who can support both these goals but more fundamentally, raise the profile of both sectors as potential sources of climate finance in broader international climate finance discussions.

However, we recognise that agreeing to raise revenue from aviation and shipping sectors is only the first step. The next step will be to ensure that those revenues actually reach climate vulnerable communities. The Senior Director will work with the international shipping team to expand OG’s policy on the distribution of revenues, with the explicit goal of maximising their support for climate vulnerable communities. You will follow international climate finance discussions and strategically intervene for OG when our goals can be supported. 

Initially you will report to the CEO, while the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer is on parental leave. You will manage a team of three, with one direct line report initially, who are already well established in supporting climate vulnerable countries in the International Maritime Organization.

About the candidate: 

We are looking for someone who can think strategically about how to gain the support of policymakers in the global north to support the most climate vulnerable across the world. 

We are looking for a candidate with: 

  • An inspirational leadership style, who is brave enough to tell the truth about the climate crisis but is also respectful of international policymakers, who can use detailed economic arguments to inspire ambition. 

Desirable skills and experience: 

We do not expect any candidate to have all the skills listed below but rather we look for transferable skills and potential as well as past experience. 

  • Economics degree or equivalent working experience 
  • Experience working with policymakers to improve and drive ambition 
  • Experience of generating ideas to drive economics systems change and crafting an easily understandable narrative that can be communicated to policymakers around that change 
  • Ability to get to grips with technological and policy detail around aviation, shipping, buildings, steel and agriculture as necessary and to know when that detail is needed in policymaker meetings 
  • Experience of leading a team and working with staff to inspire the greatest possible impact, including remote staff 
  • Ability to clearly articulate a theory of change and direct a team to articulate that theory of change 
  • Active listening skills, negotiation skills and the ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders
  • An engaging public speaker 
  • Ability to think critically, independently and creatively
  • Effective at building relationships at all levels of the organisation 
  • Experience of philanthropy and fundraising for an NGO 

Diversity and inclusion 

Diversity and inclusion are important principles at OG. We believe that diversity and inclusion make teams stronger and more effective. We are committed to fair and equitable employment practices, and are striving to ensure that a variety of voices and experiences are included in our organisation. Our commitment to diversity and our parental leave policy are available to view on our website, here

We will consider all applicants who meet most or all of the essential competencies regardless of their identity or background. That said, we know that diverse candidates may be reluctant to apply for jobs where they don’t meet 100% of the criteria outlined in the job description. We encourage anyone to apply who can demonstrate the variety of skills and experiences relevant to meeting the requirements of this role.

We recognise that many diverse experiences and perspectives are not represented in our current workforce, and are seriously underrepresented across the non-profit sector in general, and as such, we particularly welcome applications from people with disabilities, people of colour, people from marginalised backgrounds, and members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. We will use positive action under the Equality Act 2010 to appoint from these groups if two candidates are equally qualified. We also value flexible working and are open to those who would want to work part-time in this role.

To learn more about our application process and receive advice on how to prepare in such a way as to showcase your full potential, please find our Application Guide here

What we offer 

The successful candidate will be offered an annual salary of £80,000 plus 10% employer-contributed pension. Please note that OG has fixed salary scales, with the possibility of step increases with strong performance. When hiring we always hire at the bottom of a band and do not enter negotiations with new employees as negotiations have been historically shown to disadvantage women and minorities. 

We take our team’s wellbeing and professional development seriously. In addition to a competitive salary, we offer:

  • A commitment to work/life balance, with a 4-day work week at 28 hours 
  • A generous holiday entitlement of 20 days holidays per year, plus bank holidays and office closure between Christmas and New Year’s that does not count towards your holiday entitlement (and expectation that you fully disconnect when taking time off) 
  • A market-leading pension of 10%
  • A progressive parental leave policy, including 26 weeks paid leave for both parents 
  • Flexible working with plenty of opportunities to come together as a team.
  • Support for your professional development as part of Opportunity Green, with a budget to support your learning & development plus opportunities to lead projects, publish content, learn from experts, work directly with policymakers and stakeholders, and take part in conferences and events. 
  • However, it is important to note that while this role is permanent, employment is always reliant on Opportunity Green continuing to receive philanthropic support from our funders, which we expect every member of the team to play their part in working towards. 

How to apply: 

Please click the link provided to apply.

To minimise the risk of unconscious bias, we ask that applicants remove certain identifying elements from their CVs. If you do not remove these details, we reserve the right to withdraw your application from review.

  • Photos 
  • Name – if needed, please use ‘Applicant’ 
  • Age 
  • Email and/or phone number 

Unfortunately, if you do not already hold the right to work in the UK and/or require sponsorship to continue working in the UK, OG will not be able to consider your application at this time.

The closing date for applications is 24th June, 2024 at 9:00am UK time.

What happens next? 

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online peer interview to discuss their experience and suitability for the role. After this, candidates that are most suitable for the vacancy will be invited for an in-person interview in our London office, for which there may also be a short task. Travel will be reimbursed for non-London-based applicants.

Online interviews are likely to take place w/c 8th July. In person interviews will likely be shortly after this the following week.

We reserve the right to ask for references during the recruitment process. 

We actively encourage applicants to reach out if there are any reasonable adjustments we can make to help them demonstrate their full potential in the hiring process. 

Please get in touch at [email protected] and we can discuss how to best make the recruitment process as accessible and comfortable for you as possible. 

Find out more & apply