RSPB • Flexible in UK

Senior Policy Officer - Bioenergy and BECCS - Fixed Term

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £33600 - £37275 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

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Job Description

This is an excellent opportunity to influence important decisions across the UK and internationally on climate, nature and land use in the bioenergy policy space. You will aim to influence both the UK government and UNFCCC processes as key decisions are taken on bioenergy and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), and work in coalition with UK and international partners. You will lead the RSPB’s work on bioenergy and BECCS, building on our existing positions and shaping and delivering an advocacy plan.

We are looking for an effective advocate with expertise and experience in influencing policy development and implementation related to climate and nature. You will be passionate about protecting nature and securing a safe climate. You will have strong policy development and advocacy skills, knowledge about climate change, nature conservation and land use as well as strong people skills to drive forward this work internally and externally.

What's the role about?

Bioenergy has grown significantly as a ‘renewable’ energy in the last decade, with increasing efforts to develop bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), with the promise that this could deliver net negative emissions, despite warnings that this could damage climate and nature.

This role will provide strategic leadership in RSPB’s bioenergy and BECCS policy advocacy through the latest evidence to influence relevant government policies and input into international advocacy via the UNFCCC process. You will coordinate UK NGOs to work in partnership and develop joint positions on this issue.

The Senior Policy Officer will work within the Land, Seas and Climate Policy team in the RSPB’s UK Policy and Advocacy Department. Internally, the role will involve working with policy staff across the UK to build and advocate RSPB’s bioenergy policy across the devolved, UK and global context. It will involve building relationships with RSPB country teams and communications staff to ensure that the RSPB’s position is aligned.

Externally, the role will focus on delivering an advocacy strategy to share bioenergy and BECCS policy recommendations with Government and UNFCCC decision makers and ensure their effective implementation. You will build relationships and common approaches to bioenergy and BECCS across NGOs in UK and international networks. The post holder will be responsible for the RSPB's Westminster and Whitehall decision maker facing advocacy, whilst working closely with colleagues in other teams to ensure positions are aligned and effectively communicated in the media and our own publications.

Key aspects of the role include:

• Developing effective policy positions based on sound science and evidence.
• Contributing to, and maintaining awareness of, the development of knowledge and evidence of climate change, nature and conservation responses in the bioenergy space.
• Developing and delivering influencing strategies that will achieve policy results.
• Delivering the right mix of outputs and materials to further the RSPB’s bioenergy and BECCS objectives.
• Undertaking advocacy and communicating persuasively to decision makers.
• Building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders.
• Helping to plan and coordinate work across different teams and disciplines to ensure we influence policy decisions in each of the four UK countries.
• Working closely with colleagues to develop and deliver communications material that effectively further RSPB ‘s policy advocacy objectives.
• Coordinating UK NGO coalition work on bioenergy policy.
• Inputting into international networks to influence bioenergy policy at the UNFCCC level.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:
• You will be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of climate and nature policy in the UK or wider, with relevant academic or professional qualifications
• You will have a working scientific knowledge of both climate change and land use and the interaction of the former on the latter
• You will be able to act independently to generate, lead and coordinate work with others to develop policy positions, associated influencing strategies and lead their implementation effectively
• You will have a proven track record in good project management.
• You will be able to analyse complex issues in a fast-paced environment.
• You will have well-developed advocacy and influencing skills and be able to engage with a wide range of individuals and organisations, including at senior levels.
• You will have a good understanding of the role of public facing communications/campaigns to support policy advocacy.
• You will have written and verbal communication skills to a very high standard; professional and persuasive.
• You will be confident and capable of being a public face for RSPB policy and advocacy to the media and social media.
• You will have strong time management, prioritisation and organisational skills.
• You will be a competent user of core MS Office programmes
Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:
• Knowledge of up to date bioenergy and BECCS policy and science.
• Knowledge/experience of UNFCCC processes.

This is a Fixed-Term 2 year contract role, Full-Time role for 37.5 hours per week.

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 20th Feb 2023. For further information please contact Melanie.Coath@rspb.org.uk

As part of this application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

Company benefits

Open to part-time employees
Open to compressed hours
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Shared parental leave
24 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced sick pay

The FlexScore® is the result of a rigorous 2-step verification of a company’s flexibility

First we assess the flexibility options RSPB provides and then we anonymously survey a statistically significant proportion of their employees to make sure RSPB is as flexible as they say they are. Our assessment is based on the six key elements of flexibility: location, hours, autonomy, benefits, role modelling and work-life balance.

We ask the hard questions so you don’t have to.

Working at RSPB

Company employees


Gender diversity (male:female)


Office locations

Across all 4 UK Countries

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom
What employees are saying

I feel the RSPB is very flexible and this is reflected through the Line Management chain - I know I have the flexibility on a daily basis to start early / finish late, if something crops up at home - I am very satisfied :)

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