Legal scoping on decarbonisation of buildings


With about 40% of EU’s total energy consumption, and 36% of the EU’s GHG emissions from energy,[1] the building sector is one of the key areas in which efforts need to be made to achieve decarbonisation targets and improve our energy independence. The issue is important amongst other for its social/energy justice and right to life components, including tackling energy poverty and accessing decent housing, which could be (partially) addressed through the same policies. Solutions are multiple and include the implementation of energy efficiency measures such as renovation, the electrification of heating/cooling/cooking, and demand response mechanisms.

The importance of decarbonising the building sector has been recognised in multiple policy documents at EU and MS levels, such as the Renovation Wave Strategy and the recent REPowerEU Communication, whilst many think tanks and organisations have recently released policy documents on the topic and its relevance to energy security. Increased targets and stronger requirements are also being included in several pieces of legislation currently under revision, such as the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Ecodesign Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive.

This notwithstanding, legal and practical barriers to energy efficiency measures for the decarbonisation of buildings still remain. Therefore, ClientEarth would like to hire an external consultant to scope opportunities for legal intervention(s) at national and/or EU level that could help accelerate the decarbonisation of the building sector. This will be a high level scoping exercise. A more in-depth legal research on identified potential cases will be carried out at a second stage.

  • Expertise and/or practical experience on issues of energy efficiency in buildings such as decarbonisation of heating/cooling/cooking. The consultant should focus primarily on residential buildings, and on public buildings at a second level.
  • Good knowledge and network among the EU/national stakeholders’ landscape in relation to the relevant topics
  • Legal background strongly desired
  • Identify main (legal) issues and obstacles to the effective decarbonisation of buildings at EU and national level.
  • Identify avenues for potential legal intervention (at high level), including a selection of the most relevant countries in which to intervene.
  • Identify relevant stakeholders in the building sector at both national and EU levels and organise bilateral or collective consultations with them.
Timeframe and deliverable

The consultancy should start as soon as possible. A final scoping report should be submitted by 30 July 2022.

We suggest the following milestones to the final product of this consultancy (to be adapted to the consultant’s availability):

  1. First discussion to determine the final scope of the report: 27 May 2022
  2. First draft: 17 June 2022
  3. Second draft: 15 July 2022
  4. Final draft: 12 August 2022
  5. Final report delivered: 29 August 2022
How to apply

Send your CV and a short concept note to Eleni Diamantopoulou ( and Alexia Falisse ( before 10 June 2022.

Short term consultancy: Scoping for legal empowerment interventions in the DRC

ClientEarth is scoping a new programme of work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and requires a consultant to support this process.

Duty station: Home-based / remote

Type and duration of contract: Consultancy contract, 5 months

Preferred starting date: February 2023

Closing date for applications: 14 December 2022


Forests will be key to mitigating climate change and the Congo Basin is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world after the Amazon. The Congo Basin accounts for 70% of Africa’s forest cover and holds huge amounts of carbon.

ClientEarth works in both producer and consumer countries to protect forests and biodiversity. Our work includes promotion of community forestry and the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples through legal reform, empowerment and capacity building and improved benefit sharing agreements. We also work in the EU and UK on the legality of imported timber products (EUTR) and the creation of legal frameworks to hold corporations and investors accountable for risks to deforestation and biodiversity loss.

ClientEarth’s work in tropical forested countries focuses on the intersect between human rights and environmental protection. We believe that community-based forest management is key and that entrusting local communities and Indigenous Peoples with the sustainable management of their lands is the best long-term approach to protecting forests. However, for communities to adopt their role as agents for forest protection and conservation, they must be supported by legal rights.

Following this vision, ClientEarth is scoping a new programme of work in the DRC, where we hope to provide legal support to national process(es) or sub-national process(es) of sustainable, community-led forest management. More specifically the type of work we are considering that ClientEarth may undertake in the DRC includes:

- Support national NGOs and community-based organisations with legal skills, literacy, knowledge, etc. This could take the format of regular working groups, that ClientEarth facilitates and funds (together with national partners), where NGOs working on relevant topics convene and discuss key topics of advocacy. Such working groups could be constituted in conjunction with, or with the aim towards direct engagement with government. Topics could include the legal aspects of community forestry, implementation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Law, national laws and processes related to the granting of land-use concessions, and transparent legal processes within the minerals and oil/gas extractive sectors (concession granting, royalties, etc.).

- Community-level support to uphold and protect the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples who (i) wish to register as a community forest; (ii) find themselves and/or their rights threatened by third parties; or (iii) need support to implement community forestry in line with the legal framework. - Legal actions towards investors and/or financiers of egregious environmental harm; the precise types of harms, target entities, and manner in which ClientEarth might position itself in such actions with local and international partners is to be determined.

Tasks for the consultant

- Identify the key issues lying at the heart of national civil society’s objectives / work; what are the key issues threatening the forests of the DRC, the key issues regarding the extractive sector, and other related matters, according to national and sub-national actors

- Provide information on the status and opportunities of international processes (REDD+, FLEGT-VPA, CAFI, LEAF, etc)

- Undertake a stakeholder mapping, to understand the key national and international governmental, private sector (esp. investor and financing), civil society organisations, community-based organisations and national and sub-national public sector actors involved in forest management and the extractives sector

- Identify the key areas of legal work that ClientEarth could contribute to national or sub-national issues of forest management (especially community-led forest management) and the extractive sector

- In all of our work in West and Central Africa, ClientEarth works in close partnership with national lawyers or legal specialists. The consultant will identify national partners with whom ClientEarth could work as in-country associates.

- Final deliverable will be a report proposing a strategy for engagement in the DRC and a list of key stakeholders, including potential in-country partners.


- Good knowledge of the Congo Basin and the DRC and network among (inter-)national stakeholders working in the DRC in relation to the relevant topics

- Legal background strongly desired

- Fluent in French (CEFR level C2) and strong oral and written English (CEFR level C1)

- Well-developed interpersonal communication style and proven ability to build productive and collaborative working relationships with civil society, civil servants, local community networks and leaders, and other key stakeholders.

- Experience working on law and/or policy development or legal empowerment processes, either with governments, civil society organisations, communities or the private sector

- Willingness to undertake visit(s) to Kinshasa, both solo and together with ClientEarth staff, for up to 6 weeks. The first trip would take place in approximately March 2023, for between 2-3 weeks, with a second trip before June 2023.


The consultancy should start by February 2023, at the latest.

We suggest the following key dates for this consultancy (to be adapted to the consultant’s availability). Please note that travel to Kinshasa is dependent upon rolling security assessments, to be undertaken by ClientEarth.

· First discussion to determine the scope of the consultancy and to prepare for a first trip to Kinshasa: week commencing 13 February 2023

· First trip to Kinshasa: March 2023

· First draft report from first trip to Kinshasa: week commencing 10 April 2023

· Second trip to Kinshasa: May 2023

· First draft report from second trip to Kinshasa: week commencing 12 June 2023

· Final report delivered: 31 July 2023

The consultant will hold frequent (at least monthly) check-ins with ClientEarth staff to discuss progress and next steps.


Consultancy of a maximum of 65 days (spread over 5 months).

ClientEarth will pay all expenses related to travel.

How to apply

Send your CV, including a proposed fee rate, and a short concept note to Caroline Haywood ( and Patricia Iacob ( before 14 December 2022. Interviews will take place in 2023.