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Director of Strategy, COP26

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Town/City Glasgow, London
Salary Additional Information £93,000
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Board & Executives
Deadline 28/03/2021
Company Name Cabinet Office
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Cabinet Office logo
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The UK will be hosting the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP26), the UN's annual climate change summit meeting in November 2021. This will be the most important global climate change conference since Paris.
The COP26 Unit, which is part of the Cabinet Office, works across Whitehall and internationally with relevant departments and ministers to deliver COP26 climate change policy and prepare for the summit itself. The team comes from right across the UK government and beyond. The unit is building partnerships with key UK and international stakeholders to deliver a successful COP26.

Job description

Reporting to the Director General (CEO) of the COP26 unit, the post holder will be responsible for the ongoing development and delivery of the COP26 strategy for the UK 2021 presidency.
Ensuring that the presidency has a coherent plan for delivering success during the planning and preparation for the summit, the successful candidate will oversee a team of officials and be responsive to the rapidly evolving international political, economic, social, environmental and technological contexts of COP26.
You will lead and motivate a mixed team of government and non-government professionals and experts to provide guidance to the presidency on the delivery of COP26 priorities whilst proactively championing and leading change.


- Lead the ongoing iteration and delivery of COP strategy that brings together all policy areas in the COP26 unit in addition to cross-government ministerial offices and delivery teams (including HM Treasury, FCDO, DEFRA and BEIS), as well No10 and the COP26 high level action champion and team;
- Oversee the strategy on key COP26 issues that will shape its political success such as engagement with vulnerable countries, key negotiating issues and the sequencing of climate priorities through other major events in the year. This will involve engagement via a cross-government director steering/working group;
- Deliver regular strategy products for cross-government and Cabinet committee scrutiny, ministerial briefing and governance boards. Lead regular look-aheads, raising critical issues, reporting on key metrics, adapting the unit’s priorities and reflecting on progress to date;
- Oversee regular progress reporting via key delivery products to the COP26 President and Prime Minister;
- Work closely with the directors of communication and partnerships and engagement to develop and deliver the COP26 narrative, embedding it into strategic communications and stakeholder planning as well as wider external-facing COP26 work;
- Act as the COP26 strategic lead, engaging directly with key senior civil society and NGO actors around the globe – many of whom will define presidency success in the public climate sphere – to align strategic campaigning outside of government, share insights and develop wider buy-in for presidency approach/narrative. This will include presenting at public events and private briefings;
- Develop and manage relationships with key climate organisations and individuals;
- Lead and motivate a diverse team of senior civil servants, consultants and secondees to work across a complex and sensitive stakeholder landscape to achieve COP26 strategic objectives; and
- Represent COP26 Director General (CEO) at relevant meetings, presentations and cross-government discussions.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

Advert Close: Sunday 28th March 2021
Shortlist: w/c 29th March 2021
Assessments: w/c 5th & 12th April 2021
Interviews: 23rd April 2021

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
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