Climate and Energy Specialist, World Wildlife Fund-South Africa

Post Date: 5/12/2023
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa
Position/Title/Fund: Climate and Energy Specialist
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Deadline: May 26, 2023

Based in WWF offices in Newlands, Cape Town

WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. WWFs work is for nature, for you.

The socio-economic legacy of our political past compels us to simultaneously achieve a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable future.  Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team, you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.

WWF South Africa is committed to facilitating, supporting and enabling a just transition in South Africa as a key element of the national mitigation commitment, as well as pushing for improved ambition to align with the global need to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. The Development of an Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) is critical to map South Africa’s energy trajectory and scenarios to 2050. This approach to develop the plan must consider the dynamics of the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, as well as critical elements that will enable the transition to be just. We are working to build a critical mass within society to facilitate this transition, to enable key sectors to adopt mitigation and adaptation plans, and to reduce subsidies to fossil fuels that lock South Africa into a damaging and developmentally challenging trajectory.

The Climate and Energy Specialist will play an essential role in facilitating this ambition and ensuring that WWF’s overall energy strategy is based on evidentiary science. Working in the Climate Action team, this is a key role to help drive WWF’s vision of a just energy transformation in the South African and global context. A demonstrated extensive and deep technical knowledge base and skill set is therefore a critical requirement. This position also requires the ability to develop strong advocacy tools to build support for a net zero emissions target within civil society, labour and government as well as enable WWF and partners to embark on a well-evidenced campaign and roadmap to drive a broader just energy transformation, potentially informing the direction of finance to key transition industries.

The Climate and Energy Specialist will also interact with WWF globally as the network finalises its revised energy strategy, providing an African perspective into the global climate and energy debate alongside the Climate & Energy Practice Focal Point.

The position requires a strong technical support approach, as well as targeted and clear interactions with stakeholders and policy to facilitate WWF’s 2025 strategy.

The position reports to the Senior Manager: Climate Action.


Provide leadership to WWF South Africa’s approach to our energy trajectory to 2050

  • Lead development of Integrated Energy Plan and annual workplans together with the Senior Manager Climate Action and the Energy Project Officer,
  • Ensure that WWFSA is recognised as the thought leader in the climate-energy space.
  • Coordinate inputs from team members and leadership around key energy policy engagements
  • With the Senior Manager Climate Action, develop strategic engagement plans to facilitate uptake of policy advocacy.
  • Cooperate with other members of the climate action and other portfolios to support cross-cutting elements of climate action.
  • Ensure the Head of Environmental Programmes, Delivery and Impact Leads and Chief Executive Officer of WWF South Africa are kept informed of key developments relating to climate and energy development, discourse and related topics.

Coordination and inputs into the WWF network’s energy policies

  • Engage with WWF’s international energy community of practice to develop network energy strategy.
  • Feed into WWF’s Africa and international energy statements and policy work

External stakeholder engagement and advocacy

  • Participate in building and strengthening organisational relationships with stakeholder groups that are key for WWF-SA’s energy transition work.
  • Provide technical inputs and develop materials for use in climate-related stakeholder engagement.
  • Design and facilitate workshops and engage in public forums to promote WWF’s vision for energy transition.

Knowledge production, technical support and insights

  • Produce and edit research reports around key topics.
  • Manage consultants and specialists where necessary to support knowledge production.
  • Contribute to the development of knowledge for key strategic outcomes.
  • Strategically disseminate the knowledge within WWFSA and with all stakeholders.

Work with the Strategic Communications team to develop internal and external communication material regarding the Climate & Energy work to meet Programme goals and broaden and engage constituencies.

  • Produce position statements in relation to climate and energy in South Africa.  
  • Develop technical content and media releases around key news items.  
  • Act as a representative spokesperson for WWF South Africa’s Climate and Energy work.

Policy engagement

  • Managing and coordinate key elements of WWF’s climate and energy policy engagements and inputs into national processes and dialogue.
  • Ensure evidence based scientific input into policy discourse.
  • Support colleagues working on international-facing climate change policy.

Project management

  • Drive the development of strategic funding applications in conjunction with other team members.
  • Manage and contribute to projects to ensure timely delivery.
  • Ensure adherence to financial, social and environmental safeguards.
  • Support the development and improvement of staff capacity.


  • A master’s degree in a relevant field (energy, economics, climate change and development) with more than 7 years working experience and knowledge of other aspects of the role.
  • An understanding of relevant South African policy, regulations and political economy around the just energy transition.
  • Knowledge of energy modelling & scenario development
  • Strong data and analytical skills
  • Experience in managing a small team to deliver key outputs in a timely manner.
  • Experience in engaging with national policy processes, particularly within the energy space.
  • Experience in convening stakeholders around a common objective and working with complex multistakeholder environments.
  • Strong ability to build and nurture effective partnerships and develop advocacy plans.
  • The ability to easily communicate technical aspects into easily communicable messages.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience of engaging on international climate policy issues.
How to Apply:

To apply please fill out the application form and provide a detailed CV and cover letter (attach under “Documents”) fully motivating the relevant skills, experience and creativity that you can bring, together with the names, current e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of three relevant references.  

Applications close on Friday, 26 May 2023.

Applications sent via email will not guarantee consideration.