Under the guidance of Resident Representative, the Climate Change and Environment Specialist is responsible for providing strategic advice and guidance on key issues related to climate change and environment in the UAE, with a specific focus on mitigation, energy, low carbon development and climate resilience The Specialist analyzes political, social, economic and environmental trends related to climate change matters and leads policy advice, partnership building and knowledge management services related to UNDP programmes in the UAE. The Specialist works in close collaboration with Programme staff as required, government officials and civil society ensuring successful UNDP proramme implementation.

Climate change is a topical issue on the world agenda today. Governments met in December 2009 in Copenhagen and discussed how to contain climate change and its impacts. Global warming and climate change will negatively affect progress toward development in a number of key areas including agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zones, public health, climate-related disaster risk management and natural resources management. In the UAE, national planning has started to take these impacts into account and UNDP has committed itself to assisting the UAE Government in implementing its National Environmental Strategy, as per UNDP UAE Country Programme 2007-2011.
In addition to the above mentioned global environmental changes, the UAE has experienced very rapid economic and energy growth in the last decade, which has been a key factor in its significant emissions of greenhouse gases and a very high rate of per capita water consumption, third-highest in the world. More commitment to this area is thus necessary to effectively achieve these strategies.  

Duties and Responsibilities

The Climate Change and Environment Specialist’s primary role is to support the national practice architecture in the UAE, to strengthen the capacity of the UNDP Country Office in this practice area, and to develop a strong program/portfolio which will enable UNDP in UAE to fulfill its commitment and support national efforts in response to climate change challenges. The Specialist will play a key role in connecting the Country Office to regional and global experiences, debates on climate change and good practices. The incumbent will help ensure the quality and relevance of programmes and projects in the area of climate change, environment and energy in UAE, working to ensure consistency across national levels.  
The main functions of the Climate Change and Environment Specialist in the UAE are to: (i) enhance UNDP’s credibility in delivering a highly effective and visible programme in the UAE which, in turn, is linked to UNDP’s overall delivery of the Strategic Plan 2008-2011.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Political and technical advice for UNDP climate change programme strategies, with a specific focus on Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Leads strategic partnership and resource mobilization in area of climate change and energy and adaptation.
  • Leads UNDP knowledge management activities in area of climate change and energy guidance and advice; develops UNDP Country Office activities in Environment and Energy projects and programmes, including the GEF portfolio; and ensures stronger policy leverage.
  • Policy and technical services designed to support the Country Office to mainstream environment, energy and climate change issues into its programmes/projects and into national development planning frameworks.
  • Capacity development support, mobilization of resources for environmental management in programme countries, and market mechanisms applied to ecosystem services (including, notably, carbon finance).
  • Piloting nationally-specific mitigation strategies, based on recognized methodologies and assessments of vulnerability and adaptation mechanisms
  • Supporting the development of and conversion to renewable energy sources; and enhancing local delivery mechanisms for expanding energy and water access for the poor.
  • Formulation of Country Office strategies, progammes and projects related to climate change and environment, and facilitation of their implementation
  • Creation of strategic partnerships and implementation of resource mobilization strategy related to climate change and environment programmes/projects
  • Strategic guidance for UNDP to assume a key facilitating role in UAE’s climate change sector
  • Knowledge exchange, networking.
1. Formulation of Country Office strategies, programmes and projects related to climate change and environment, and supervise their implementation
  • Provide overall guidance to the development and implementation of the climate change programme portfolio, focusing on energy efficiency (in industry, the services and residential sectors);  renewable energy (notably utilization of the country’s solar and wind resources), the mobilization of climate change finance- including CDM - to catalyze these activities, and assistance to the UAE Government in formulating low-carbon development frameworks (e.g. national plans and strategies)
  • Map out the currently active development partners and private sector actors in the field of climate change in UAE, conduct gap analysis, identify opportunities
  • Develop relevant strategies and programme/project proposals and coordinate overall UNDP support to climate change
  • Advise UNDP on national and international developments on climate change and assist in identifying coordinated corporate approaches
  • Participate in various policy and partnerships, as well as relevant international conference and meetings on climate change
  • Identification of areas for further support and interventions within the area of climate change mitigation, adaptation and low carbon development. Keeping abreast of policy changes regarding climate change and energy related issues and informing senior management
  • Advise at high level on climate change considerations and specifically on mitigation/adaptation matters, risk and vulnerability models, promote their integration with the UAE green policy and strategies and/or on financing opportunities and fund-raising
  • Overviews on the best solutions related to mitigation and/or analysis and research on international carbon markets and financial aspects of carbon markets and carbon trading framework schemes
  • Liaison with relevant global units within UNDP, such as MDG Carbon and UNDP-EEG.
  • Analysis of lessons for policy and advisory from ongoing UNDP supported programmes and projects
  • Analysis of ongoing and pipeline projects and identify new areas for UNDP support in Climate Change and Environment
  • Undertake regular field visits and monitoring trips
  • Strengthening UNDP programmatic approach in Climate Change and Environment
  • Supervise implementation of projects and programmes
  • Provide overall guidance to recruitment of national and international consultants
2. Creation of strategic partnerships and implementation of resource mobilization strategy related to climate change programme/projects
  • Create strategic partnerships with key-development partners for the UN-REDD programme in UAE
  • Strengthen the partnership/coordination with key stakeholders, particularly the development partners, private sector, and the government to identify opportunities and formulate joint initiatives with maximum impacts and efficiency, minimize duplication of efforts and reduce transaction costs
  • Mobilize resources for climate change and environment projects from various sources such as the global trust funds on climate change that are established, bilateral donors and the private sector
  • Development of regular UNDP climate change and low carbon development briefs, statements and activity information for bilateral donors, academia, private sector to support UNDP’s climate change and low carbon public awareness activities
3. Strategic guidance for UNDP to strengthen its facilitating role in addressing climate change in UAE
  • Provide strategic advice to UNDP CO on policy engagement, dialogue, advocacy, capacity development, private sector involvement and resource mobilization in relation to the climate change and environment
  • Provide policy advice, strategic guidance and knowledge-sharing related to climate change to the government, UNDP Promote information sharing and facilitate dialogue within the donor community by initiating and/or participating in consultative meetings and preparing briefs and policy papers on climate change


Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism
  • Speaks and writes clearly. Exhibits interest in engaging in two-way communication
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals
  • Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise
  • Ability to build strong client relations
  • Is willing to learn from others
  • Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position
  • Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings
Planning and organizing
  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies
  • Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required
  • Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work
  • Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning
  • Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced degree from an accredited educational institution in energy, economics, engineering, physical or environmental sciences, ideally with a demonstrable appreciation of sustainable development


  • The Climate Change and Environment Specialist will be of such caliber as to be able to work with high-level government officials and intergovernmental bodies, and be able to represent Country Office regional and sub-regional fora with an ability for strategic thinking in policy and programming
  • At least 7 (seven) years’ professional experience, ideally with demonstrable experience in an international context.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of the Gulf and/or Arab States region will be an asset. .Strong understanding of CDM and carbon finance will be an asset.
  • Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis/resolution of complex issues;
  • Strong technical leadership experience and decision-making skills with proven track record of mature judgments
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience;
  • Experience with UNDP and the UN System and a good understanding of UNDP program, finance and operational procedures will be an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required. Arabic language desirable.