Senior Officer: Climate Neutral Cities


Organization Name: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
Location: Freiburg, Germany
Apply email: Not Specified
Start Date: 20 Jun 2021, 05:30 am
Closing Date: 16 Jul 2021, 12:00 am

Senior Officer: Climate Neutral Cities

Start date: mid-September 2021 (or asap)

Duration: 4 Years (extension intended)

Deadline for application: 16 July 2021

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a network of over 2,500 local governments in 125+ countries that are dedicated to sustainable development. ICLEI has 24 offices servicing its members while developing innovative projects and events and is an international not-for-profit association and network perceived as the international representative of cities for sustainability. The European Secretariat is based in Freiburg, Germany.

ICLEI‘s member cities drive innovation by pioneering the development and application of new processes, instruments, methods and tools for local sustainability. ICLEI promotes integrated and cyclical management and governance of all sustainability-related policy areas.

The Senior Officer, Climate Neutral Cities will lead core work package processes and provide topical expertise for ICLEI on an ambitious European project that aims to accelerate cities’ pathways to climate neutrality by 2030. The project will develop a “one-stop shop” to provide cities with resources to co-create and implement a “climate-neutral city contract” and a 2030 action plan. It will also help finance large-scale interventions in selected pilot cities that apply systemic innovation principles to overcome the transversal barriers that have kept cities from making step-change progress. The project addresses a broad spectrum of climate-neutrality topics and issues, including building, energy, and transport decarbonisation, monitoring and reporting, citizen engagement, social innovation, participatory planning and policy making, multi-level governance, finance, and sustainable urban development.

As such, the successful candidate for the Senior Officer, Climate Neutral Cities will have a commensurate level of ambition, experience, and enthusiasm for collaboratively helping cities work through lateral and vertical systemic transformation processes to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. They will apply their background in sustainable urban and regional planning, environmental governance, climate action planning / policy making / monitoring and evaluation, environmental or sustainability management, public administration, or a compelling combination of relevant experience; have proven project leadership experience; and have strong process orchestration and co-creation skills to lead key work packages in a complex, highly-visible European project for four years. Interfaces exist to the EU Green Deal, the “100 Climate-neutral Cities by 2030 - by and for the Citizens” Mission (pending), and other other climate neutrality-related initiatives at all governance levels. Complementary projects, strategic initiatives, and consultancy services are foreseen to evolve from this work; the Senior Officer, Climate Neutral Cities is expected to contribute to these processes and acquisition efforts.

The Senior Officer, Climate Neutral Cities will work principally on a funded four-year project, but future projects and initiatives are foreseen to continue after the project’s horizon.

Tasks and responsibilities:

• Lead core Work Package processes, tasks and deliverables, including their conceptualisation and implementation together with internal and external partners, cities and the European Commission;
• Design and lead co-creation processes with stakeholders from a wide range of organisations, including senior executives and political representatives at all governance levels;
• Serve as the day-to-day contact point for communication with partners, cities, and funders;
• Facilitate the exchange, evaluation, peer-learning and capacity-development for various stakeholder panels (city and Member State representatives, practitioners and policymakers) and city cohort clusters;
• Contribute to/develop guidelines, training curricula and support materials for the climate-neutral city contracting process;
• Participate in General Assembly meetings, project meetings and project-related events;
• Project management including general administrative tasks, capacity and workflow planning (including orchestrating ICLEI staff contributions to the project), communication with project partners, implementation monitoring and external reporting to the project coordinators and funding agencies;
• Contribute to acquisition efforts for complementary projects and networking activities;
• Follow climate and governance-related European policy initiatives and developments, and contribute to strategic processes linked to climate-neutral cities;
• Represent ICLEI at events and presentations.

Skills and qualifications:

• Education: Academic degree in urban and regional planning, environmental governance or engineering, climate action planning / policy making / monitoring and evaluation, environmental or sustainability management, public administration, economics, or other relevant education/training, plus a sound understanding of local government, urban management and urban planning processes;
• Professional experience: Strong understanding of and practical experience with local climate action policy and governance processes, climate change mitigation, carbon monitoring and reporting, climate finance / sustainable finance, sustainability management, and/or environmental governance; at least five years of work experience with climate-related projects and consultancy services; Strong project management experience with fast-paced projects, diverse (sometimes dispersed) teams and large budgets (Horizon 2020 experience a bonus!); Experience in climate action and sustainability management processes as part of urban and regional development. Experience with advocacy and European policy processes; Familiarity with assessing, monitoring and reporting on Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) a plus; Experience with decarbonization project financing, including EU funding instruments (Structural Funds, ELENA, etc.) a plus; Experience working directly with local administrations a plus; Experience with citizen engagement and social innovation approaches related to climate action a plus;
• Excellent leadership, organisation, and co-creation/facilitation skills. Experience in developing and implementing training and capacity development activities (particularly for and with local governments);
• Languages: Excellent command of English (spoken and written), plus at least one other European or international language (spoken and written);
• Personality: Proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial approach to work with an orientation to collaborative problem-solving and driving innovation. Precision and ability to be self-organised within an international team;
• Communication: Excellent communication, interpersonal (spoken and written) and conflict resolution skills. Excellent representation and presentation skills. Confidence in communicating with partners from different backgrounds and cultures. Demonstrable experience facilitating meetings, including online meetings, workshops, and other events;
• Computing: Confident user of online meeting software and tools, all Microsoft Office applications, email, desk research.


• Initially limited contract, duration from September 2021 until September 2025 (4 years). Extension of the contract after August 2025 is intended;
• Corridor contract 80-100% with a gross salary according to Senior Officer position in ICLEI’s salary grid (indicative: EUR € 51.000 - € 55.800 per annum for 100%). Foreseen to start at 100% of full-time position;
• Place of work: ICLEI European Secretariat, Freiburg, Germany;
• Workings hours: 40 h/week, six weeks of paid leave per annum;
• Working language: English;
• Readiness for travel;
• Applicants must – due to legal reasons – hold EU citizenship or valid EU residence permit and a valid German work permit. Applications not meeting these conditions can unfortunately not be considered.

Deadline for application: 16 July 2021

Please apply in writing, including a CV and letter of motivation to:

Be aware that applications are reviewed continuously upon arrival; therefore application as soon as possible is advisable.

For more information about ICLEI visit:

ICLEI Europe’s Equal Opportunity and Employment Policy

ICLEI Europe’s hiring policy is geared to ensure that the organisation hires employees without regard to their race, colour, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, sex, marital status, socio-economic background or sexual orientation. ICLEI’s policy is that applicants for employment and career progression are considered solely on the basis of their qualifications and competencies.

Job Email id: jobs.europe(at)