China Climate Lead
The Leader We Are Looking For
Climate change is the most important – and difficult -- collective action challenge facing humanity this century. Thanks to the Paris Climate deal and spectacular gains in technology and knowledge we are better equipped to address it today than at any time before. But we are not yet on track, and time is running out. Reaching the Paris goal of “well below 2 degrees” will require emissions to peak by 2020 or shortly thereafter, and to decline to net zero by the middle of the century. This in turn will require system-wide shifts of major proportions across most key spheres of economic and social life.
China is poised to play a major role in this historic transition. It is today the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses but, equally importantly, it is leading on the innovation and investment needed to decisively tackle climate change. During the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping clearly indicated his vision to build green, low-carbon and circular economic systems, emphasizing green development and “eco-civilization”. This vision points to the historic opportunity that China has to accelerate its economic transition towards low-carbon development. President Xi’s vision pushes the government to think well beyond the current commitment to peak carbon dioxide by 2030, and creates opportunities to significantly change planning frameworks and mindsets at both national and subnational levels.
WRI is seeking a creative and multi-talented expert on China climate policy to fill the role of Climate Lead in its WRI China office. Reporting to the WRI China Director, you will lead the development of a comprehensive and compelling climate strategy for WRI China that will help Chinese authorities identify optimal pathways for delivering on the country’s current climate commitments, and for increasing ambition in the years to come. As a thought leader, you will propose innovative approaches to enable the sustained transformation of China’s economy to achieve long-term zero-carbon targets. You will consider structural and geographical challenges, and identify key entry points for leveraging change. Issues around social impacts and equity will also be addressed. With the WRI China Director, you will shape and develop strategies for engaging with local and national political leaders in government, academia and civil society.
WRI’s Climate Program, including global and international office staff, engages businesses, policymakers and civil society at the local, national and international levels to advance transformative solutions that mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts. With a team of more than 50 experts world-wide, and close partnerships with dozens of peer organizations and leading researchers, the global and international office Climate teams leverage deep analysis and inclusive stakeholder processes to deliver ambitious impact on a global scale. Whether designing the most widely-used tool for emissions accounting with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, re-writing the narrative of environmental development with the New Climate Economy, or playing a critical role in the UNFCCC Paris Agreement – WRI’s Climate Program is a trusted, innovative, and effective leader in the field.
- Develop a well-structured and compelling climate strategy for WRI China, with a strong research foundation, clear priorities, and coherent vision.
- In line with the climate strategy, identify, develop and implement projects to deliver large-scale, high impact outcomes.
- Build coalitions and convene successful partnerships on climate policy research to advance WRI's climate change agenda.
- Foster strong collaborative relationships with government representatives and media, including senior government officials in relevant government ministries and departments.
- Foster a culture of excellence in work of the team and across WRI China.
- Promote close and effective collaboration with relevant programs and centers at WRI as well as with other International Offices.
Manage day-to-day operations of the China Climate Program, including project, financial, administrative, human resource matters, and prepare progress reports to funders and internally within WRI.
- Write and review reports/publications to ensure high quality, high impact publications in line with WRI’s requirements.
- Participate in the WRI China office management as its management team member, and contribute to WRI China development in line with the WRI strategy.
- Provide oversight of all China-related climate policy relevant research and analysis.
- Review draft publications, blogs, press releases, and other research and communications materials to ensure they meet WRI’s high standards of quality.
- Other tasks as directed by WRI China Country Director and Global Climate Director/Deputy Director.
Communications, outreach, and external relationship building
- Establish and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including government, private sector, non-profit, academia, funders, and other stakeholders.
- Regularly communicate with external stakeholders to ensure our works will lead to on-the-ground change and to bring the outcomes to scale.
- Communicate and coordinate with different programs, centers, offices, and initiatives within WRI network to create synergies.
- Chair and/or represent WRI's point of view on climate policy developments at seminars, conferences, media interviews, blogs, press conferences, and other ways.
- Write briefs, publish blogs, and conduct media interviews in order to set public and private sector agendas, influence decision-maker perspectives, and communicate findings and recommendations from WRI’s China climate work.
- Lead the development and implementation of the fundraising strategy.
- Develop and maintain relationships with existing and prospective donors.
- Identify fundraising opportunities and prepare funding proposals for corporate donors, private foundations, government agencies, bilateral donors, and other funders.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Well-established China climate change expert with known track record on national and/or subnational climate works. Experience on mitigation is required while adaptation is a plus. In-depth understanding of China’s climate agenda both domestically and in relation to the international climate regime, as well as bilateral/multilateral relationships.
- Proven ability to provide vision and superb strategic thinking skills to identify strategic projects, drive transformative change, and bring outcomes to scale.
- Strong governmental network with significant experience in working directly with relevant ministries and proven experience on stakeholder engagement, convening, and partnership management.
- Strong research skill with relevant experience on publishing high impact reports, familiar with peer review processes, and experience on multi-partner joint publications.
- Track record on raising large-scale, multi-year funds with broad connections with funders, both domestically and internationally.
- Excellent communication skills and command of written and spoken Chinese (Mandarin) and English. Strong public speaker in both languages.
- Superior management skills, including project management, staff supervision, and financial management. Demonstrated ability to successfully motivate and manage teams.
- Familiar with the operation models of NGOs/research institutions.
- Advanced degree in climate policy, energy, economics or other related fields (a PhD is highly desirable), with at least 10 years of progressive professional work experience related to climate and/or energy works in China.
- Willingness and ability to travel within China and internationally.
About WRI China
WRI China was established in 2008 as WRI’s first country office. Currently WRI China has more than 30 full-time staff working on climate change, energy, cities, transport, water, and finance issues. WRI China Climate Program was started in 2008 and is part of the Global Climate Program. Our goal is to support China in building a prosperous, low carbon, and climate resilient society, in line with the principle of ‘eco-civilization’ and the global climate goals. We focus on three levels of intervention: national, subnational, and sectoral analyses to advance transformative solutions that mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts.
How to Apply
Qualified applicants must apply online at careers.wri.org to be considered.