Payet is the Seychelles' minister for environment and energy, prochancellor of the University of Seychelles, and an adjunct professor at Sweden's Linnaeus University. He has served as a special advisor to the president of the Seychelles on issues including climate change, energy, sustainable development, and biodiversity. He is a founding member or trustee of the Global Island Partnership, the Sea Level Rise Foundation, the Island Conservation Society, and the Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology. In 2007, he shared in the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2006 he received a doctorate in environmental science from Linnaeus University.