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Climate & Energy Programme – Lawyer

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate Change, EMS & Audits
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 11/07/2014
Company Name ClientEarth
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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Directory Entry : Environmental Jobs with ClientEarth. We work to protect the environment through advocacy, litigation and research. We use the best scientific and policy analysis when choosing strategic directions. Our legal action, whether in advocacy or in cases before courts and administrative bodies, is built on solid law and science.
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Climate & Energy Programme – Lawyer (Defending the UK Climate Change Act 2008) - London

This exciting and challenging role is designed for a lawyer to make a pivotal contribution to developing and delivering our Climate & Energy Programme. The focus of the role is to assist ClientEarth in defending the UK Climate Change Act 2008 and supporting our campaign to develop an equivalent model of climate governance at EU level. The UK Climate Change Act 2008 is a highly innovative and comprehensive regulatory framework designed to deliver the rapid and radical economic decarbonisation required to enable an industrialised country make a fair national contribution to global efforts to mitigate dangerous climate change. Despite the significant development of EU climate and energy law, the UK Act contains the only regime that is economy wide, explicitly linked to the universally agreed 2050 objective and embeds independent science into decision making. It therefore represents a unique and pioneering contribution to global efforts to develop effective models for climate governance. 

This position is designed to assist ClientEarth and partners to: (a) better understand the economic and environmental impacts of having such legislation in place; (b) disseminate that analysis to key stakeholders (c) evaluate the extent to which other countries have developed comparable statutory models for national decarbonisation; (d) identify breaches of the Act that represent a strategic threat to its operation and longer-term viability and develop strategies to defend the Act; (e) support partners to use legal strategies to defend the Act and (f) support our ongoing work to develop an equivalent model at EU level. Working in close partnership with ClientEarth’s partners, the successful candidate will be required to build an analysis concerning the practical impacts of the Climate Act, evaluate comparable regulatory models, identify and exploit opportunities for intervention by ClientEarth and partners to highlight the value of the Act and to ensure its robust defense, and support our work to export this regulatory model to the EU level. 

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record in law and will be ready to contribute to strategic legal thinking, advocacy and creative problem solving in a public interest law setting. You should have a good understanding of UK, EU and international climate law, UK Public Law (particularly Judicial Review) and EU constitutional law. In addition you should have a broad understanding of UK and EU environmental law. Ideally you would have experience of litigation, particularly judicial review proceedings. You should have the skills or aptitude to work in an interdisciplinary context, and to mobilize legal analysis to influence policy and legal development at national and EU levels. More generally, the successful candidate will be capable of working independently but as part of a team, responding quickly to feedback, and able to take collaborate effectively with external and internal partners to deliver shared objectives. You are also committed to environmental issues and to urgent action on climate change.

ClientEarth is a public interest environmental law group founded in 2007. ClientEarth brings together law, science and policy to create practical solutions to key environmental challenges. Working in partnership with civil society and policy-makers, ClientEarth is committed to securing the rights of citizens and civil society to participation, information and justice in environmental matters. In Europe and beyond, ClientEarth’s 60 strong staff includes legal experts qualified in more than nine jurisdictions based in offices in London, Brussels and Warsaw. Our programmes cover biodiversity and ecosystems, climate and energy, and health and environment. 

Climate and Energy Programme Overview 

ClientEarth’s Climate and Energy Programme aims to advance development of law and policy to drive Europe’s transition to a low carbon, efficient and affordable energy system. We work on strategies to avoid lock-in to damaging high carbon infrastructure, and to promote solutions, investment and action to achieve this objective. We also work to promote European leadership in global action on climate change. We act as independent legal advocates and experts in close cooperation with partner organisations and are engaged in initiatives at EU level, and with a national focus in the UK and Poland in particular.  

Working relationships
The position reports to the Climate & Energy Programme Leader. The lawyer will also have key relationships across the Climate and Energy programme with colleagues based in Brussels and Warsaw and more widely across ClientEarth’s programmes and functions including development and communications.

Job responsibilities
Working under the supervision of the Programme Leader and in co-operation with partners, this job will require you to:

  • Build a detailed analysis of the practical economic and environmental impact of the UK Climate Change Act.
  • Develop a dissemination strategy to build stakeholder awareness and understanding of those impacts – particularly political stakeholders in UK parliaments but also at EU level.
  • Evaluate the extent to which other countries have developed comparable statutory models for national decarbonisation.
  • Develop an analysis of the quality of compliance by UK countries with the UK Act; identify breaches that represent strategic threats to the operation and longer term viability of the Act and identify potential intervention opportunities for ClientEarth and partners to highlight the risks and defend the Act.
  • Support our partners in using the Act in their advocacy and in particular to collaborate on its defense.
  • Support our work to develop an equivalent regulatory model for the EU
  • Collaborate in work and thinking across the Climate and Energy team as a whole, in particular contributing to our current work on the EU’s 2030 climate and energy package.
  • Contribute to the strategic development of our climate and energy programme strategy.
  • Research and produce high quality written work products tailored to communicate our thinking to a wide variety of legal, policy, political, civil society and interdisciplinary audiences.
  • Develop and maintain a robust knowledge of UK, EU and international climate law, EU constitutional and UK Public Law.
  • Participate in formal and informal forums and groups, and represent ClientEarth in external forums.
  • Identify and establish relationships with key contacts within the field.
  • Initiate and maintain collaborative partnerships and working relationships with key organisations.
  • Support fundraising processes within the team including developing concepts and proposals for submission to funders, producing activity reports for funders.
  • Develop and engage in communications associated with the programme including website communications and press relations.

We will look for candidates able to demonstrate the capabilities to fulfil the role, including all or most of the following qualifications, experience, knowledge, skills and competencies: 

Qualifications and experience 

  • Law degree
  • Fluent in English and ideally another European language
  • At least 3 years relevant professional experience
  • You should have a good understanding of UK, EU and international climate law, EU constitutional law, UK Public law (in particularly judicial review proceedings) and broad understanding of UK/EU environmental law
  • Ideally some litigation experience – preferably in the context of judicial review proceedings.

Skills and competencies

  • Excellent creative, critical and lateral thinking and analytical skills and ability to grasp quickly new concepts and areas of law with an openness to learning and new ideas
  • Excellent legal research, analysis, writing, advisory and advocacy skills
  • Ability to think and plan strategically, and to break complex issues and strategies into defined, outcome-oriented activities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to give authoritative advice and influence external audiences, to adapt language, content and style to make communications relevant to policy-makers, funders, press
  • Capable of developing effective working relationships with partner organisations
  • Able to represent ClientEarth confidently in a range of forums
  • Confident working with and assimilating complex technical (scientific, energy systems and technologies, economic, carbon and energy markets and policy), political and legal material as the basis for a big picture understanding of problems, intervention points and possible solutions
  • Ability to engage constructively with and develop relationships with a range of external stakeholders in government, industry and civil society
  • Ability to interact with people in a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative manner
  • Excellent organisational skills and able to set priorities and manage multiple tasks
  • Collaborative working style, ability to work independently in a self-directed, self-motivated manner, to operate as part of a small team as a team member
  • Ability to react positively in the light of shifting and competing timelines
  • Excellent political and practical judgement and diplomacy
  • Motivated to achieve results and ability to spot and take advantage of opportunities to achieve change
  • Organised, reliable, flexible, poised, dynamic, self-motivated

This position will be based in London but with some travel within the UK and to Brussels.

To apply

Please send us your CV and a cover letter explaining your interest in joining ClientEarth and the contribution you believe you could make to the organisation. 

Please include ‘Climate & Energy Lawyer (Defending UK Climate Act post)’ in the email subject line, and identify the documents you are sending by including ‘[your name] Climate & Energy Lawyer cover letter’ and ‘[your name] CV’ in the file name.

Please address your application to Sharon Turner, Climate & Energy programme leader, ClientEarth, The Hothouse, 274 Richmond Road, London E8 3QW or send it by email to jobs@clientearth.org

Recruitment is open now and you should send your application as soon as possible. Applications close on 11 July 2014. 

Please note that ClientEarth will only consider candidates who have the legal right to work in the EU.

If you have any questions about the roles advertised or recruitment process, please contact Patricia del Rio ( pdelrio@clientearth.org).

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