Client Story

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Creating the capability to combat climate change

Climate change is a challenge that requires collaboration on a global scale. We’ve partnered with the UK government to help nations tackle climate change by connecting them with the UK’s leading experts.

As the planet strives to keep global temperature rises within the Paris Agreement target of one-and-a-half degrees centigrade, countries are looking to limit their carbon emissions. But while many have ambitious commitments, turning them into action can be challenging.

Turning commitments into results

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions programme (UK PACT), funded by UK International Finance, helps develop the capacity of eligible countries to act on climate change by sharing UK expertise in key areas. Expert advice is all about building capability and knowledge so partner countries can, for example, create green legislation and policy, build renewable power infrastructure, or even design low-carbon public transport themselves.

Connecting countries with climate experts

Our delivery specialists developed and managed an on-demand service to quickly connect countries’ climate programmes with the right expertise to kick-start their initiatives. Our focus was to find and place the best-suited experts onto the right projects to establish meaningful partnerships and lasting relationships, driving forward each country’s climate ambitions.

In just three months, we assembled a roster of more than 200 leading climate specialists, based on selection criteria developed with FCDO. PA’s UK PACT Programme Manager, Sarah Gallagher said, “We’d originally expected to recruit 50 people in that time and reach 200 by the end of the first year, but the programme really caught their attention, so progress was a lot more rapid.”

By using our strong relations with UK-based low carbon and clean growth organisations and our own subject matter expertise in relevant sectors, we were able to recruit, brief, and train specialists from across academia, and the public and private sector. We also worked with embassies and consulates to find out what each country needed most, and met that government’s demand by matching them with experts from the roster.”
UK PACT Programme Manager, PA

Accelerating ambitions through ‘skill-shares’

UK PACT delivers expertise through ‘skill-shares’, tailored capacity-building projects which run from one day to six months and can happen virtually, face-to-face, or a combination of the two, known as hybrid skill-shares. The programme also arranges longer secondments lasting up to two years, where governments need full-time support.

Through skill-shares, specialist knowledge from across the roster has been deployed to contribute to important topics from smart grids and storage, and offshore wind power feasibility to low-carbon public transport, green finance, and energy market regulation. In Lagos, they’ve advised on sustainably upgrading waterways to relieve urban traffic congestion. In Bogotá, they’ve supported the development of traffic control schemes for polluting vehicles. And in South Africa, they’ve contributed to a roadmap for how hydrogen will support economic development and climate targets.

Meeting net zero ambitions faster

Expert support from the roster means 17 countries are closer to realising not just environmental gains, but social and economic benefits too.

These projects will support communities and could lead to inward investment, so there are many layers to the positive development impact of this programme.”
Government and public sector expert, PA

By autumn 2023, the service had delivered 62 skill-shares across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with overwhelmingly positive feedback on the skill-shares from counterparts (typically in-country government ministries and state institutions) receiving the support.

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