Natural Climate Solutions Policy Lead

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Washington, DC, US

Job Summary

As the natural climate solutions (NCS) policy lead, you will work closely with experts from across WRI to develop and communicate policies that support the use of NCS to contribute to more ambitious and lasting climate action. You will develop and socialize a NCS policy internally aligned with WRI strategic goals. You will lead WRI’s stakeholder engagement and external communications, including actively engaging with the private sector, government and international agencies, other environmental and research organizations, and various global initiatives and platforms that are working on these issues in the lead up to COP 26 in November 2021.

You will leverage your broad knowledge base to work with experts from multiple disciplines, drawing on WRI experts in corporate climate accounting, UNFCCC processes, Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), and forest protection and restoration, as well as relevant experts in WRI International Offices and other teams as needed. You will be guide discussions on controversial issues to successful agreement, communicate complex topics internally and externally in an easy-to-understand manner, and engage externally to influence decisions and agreements around NCS aligned with WRI’s position.

The role may also include leading innovative research and implementation partnerships, including guiding research on geopolitical mapping on the use of markets for financing NCS in countries around the world. You will be responsible for external representation and engagement with policymakers, private sector actors and other researchers. You will work closely with senior management on strategy, project development and fundraising, and you will also leverage partnerships and expertise across WRI’s programs, centers, and international offices, while cultivating partnerships with external experts and government officials.

Job Responsibilities

Strategic Coordination

  • Facilitate consensus around a coherent WRI position on the role of NCS in achieving climate goals, coordinating across the Climate and FFWO Programs, the Economics and Business Centers, the Climate Resilience Practice (CRP), WRI’s International Offices, and WRI senior management
  • Build support for and communicate WRI position on the role of NCS in achieving climate goals, coordinating across WRI internally and engaging effectively with key relevant initiatives and forums
  • Coordinate across WRI to ensure that the proposed approach is reflected well in the relevant tools and approaches WRI leads or contributes to, including through close coordination with the Science Based Targets initiative, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, and WRI engagement with UNFCCC processes
  • Conduct and oversee policy-relevant research, analysis, and writing that support this approach and that help fill gaps identified in how various programs use NCS as a climate strategy, including the possible use of NCS credits
  • Serve as primary point of contact for the Climate Program and Economics Center in internal discussions on NCS as a climate strategy
  • Lead on fundraising to support NCS, in full coordination with Development Center colleagues
  • Participate in internal and external peer review processes for publications and papers

Engagement, outreach and communications

  • Support WRI’s participation in various external forums and represent WRI in external engagement on NCS
  • Liaise with and develop collaborations with external partners, including research institutes, non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies
  • Communicate WRI research and analysis with external audiences, and represent WRI at conferences, workshops and other events

Job Qualifications

  • Master’s degree (PhD preferred) in a relevant field
  • Minimum of 7 to 14 years of relevant, full time work experience related to climate policy with a minimum of 3 years of additional experience in a leadership capacity
  • Demonstrated experience in building consensus around complex and controversial issues
  • Effectively communicate insights from technical research to non-technical audiences both verbally and in writing
  • Record of research and analysis on NCS as a climate strategy, with knowledge and expertise on corporate emissions accounting and on UNFCCC processes a plus
  • Candidate must be self-motivated and entrepreneurial thinker with an ability to identify new opportunities while juggling multiple priorities and work under tight deadlines
  • Strong research, writing and oral presentation skills are essential

Potential Salary: $96,000 – $130,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors. 

How to Apply 

Please submit a cover letter with resume. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview

WRI’s Climate Program works to accelerate the transition to a stronger, more inclusive and low-carbon growth path in order to confront the climate crisis and build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. With centers in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Africa, the US, and Mexico, our experts focus on shifting national policies through economic and policy analysis, global diplomacy, data and accountability. WRI’s Forests Program works with governments, businesses, and civil society to sustain forests for future generations. We aim to curb deforestation worldwide and help to restore and reforest already-cleared land. Human society and the global economy are inextricably linked to forests.

NCS can deliver up to one-third of the emission reductions needed for limiting global warming to under 2°C. But they lack the necessary investments, securing less than 3% of all climate mitigation finance and limited policy and regulatory attention. At the same time, as companies and countries increasingly set net-zero emission targets, the role of NCS credits in meeting company targets and in national and international emissions accounting requires careful consideration. Private sector NCS investments require safeguards to ensure that companies do not use them as substitutes for reducing their own emissions. In addition, for companies with impacts in the land sector, guidance is needed on reducing emissions from land use change and land management and enhancing carbon stocks on lands within their operations and supply chain.