Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – TEG Taxonomy contribution
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 02 December 2019 - 15 December 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-United Nations Environment Programme-127688-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

The services will be used by the UNEP FI Secretariat to provide assistance as part of the Work Programme on investment and climate change and by the Initiative as a whole – and in particular the UNEP FI Secretariat and its partners on the project.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The duration of the consultancy will be 2 Months.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a strategic public-private partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector. UNEP FI works with approximately 220 financial institutions, which are signatories to the UNEP FI Statements of Environmental Commitment, and a range of partners and organizations, to develop and promote linkages between the environment, sustainability and financial performance. Through its work-streams and regional activities, comprehensive work programme, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to identify, promote, and realise the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice at all levels of financial institution strategies and operations.

UNEP FI requires a consultant to assist with the research, writing and delivery of a taxonomy for Agriculture and Forestry as part of its Observer role on the EU Technical Expert Group for Sustainable Finance.

About the EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance:

The EU Taxonomy is developed by a Technical Expert Group mandated by the European Commission. It is an implementation tool that can enable capital markets to identify and respond to investment opportunities that contribute to environmental policy objectives. Decisions by investors to allocate capital or influence company activities will be making a substantial contribution to climate goals and to the related SDGs.

The EU Taxonomy presents a list of economic activities which can make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation and criteria to do no significant harm to other environmental objectives. The list of economic activities includes Forestry and Agriculture.

The EU Taxonomy was published for feedback in July-August 2019. The consultant is mandated to support with the integration of that feedback into the EU Taxonomy version as of June 2019.

That will include project communications support with the following tasks and requirements:

Forestry & Agriculture:
• Discussion of specific amendments to the version of the sector taxonomy fiches in the June 2019 Taxonomy Report.
• Ad-hoc support to TEG leads discussing feedback and providing advice on specific topics.

The consultant will contribute in a comprehensive, timely and suitable format, with the coordination support from the UNEP FI ad CBI Secretariats.

Forestry:
Input – written amendments and documentation:
• Amendment to the definition used for forestry – follow FAO and exclude planation
• Strengthening the rationale and recommendations for future expansion of the taxonomy to include value-chain carbon accounting beyond the forest gate (substitution effect). These would be articulated as recommendations, not specific amendments to the current taxonomy fiches.
• Add recommended forest management practices to the document and make reference to Principles – SFM bullet point 1.
• Clarify management plan process and alternatives in rationale section to the metric.
• Advice on the rationale for a DNSH mitigation thresholds for Adaptation activities.
• Clarify the role of FSC and PEFC as examples to verify compliance with SFM.
• Review of overall forest taxonomy sub-sectors to ensure consistent rationale and is clear enough for a forest-industry audience
• Strengthen language on carbon calculations, carbon reporting mechanisms (LULUCF, landscape approach, etc and carbon accounting rationale).
• Plantation forest inclusion rationale
• Advice on alignment of the DNSH criteria to existing legislative instruments, namely the CAP & RED II.
• Written recommendations to be taken forwards by the TEG platform – i.e. areas that the TEG platform need to consider in their future work in the development of the taxonomy.

Agriculture
•Discussion of specific amendments to the version of the sector taxonomy fiches in the June 2019 Taxonomy Report based on feedback from the consultation:
o Further consideration of how to address mixed farming (though best practices) and agro-forestry – with a particular focus on traditional silvo-pastoral and silvo-arable farm systems.
o Potential to align the DNSH criteria to existing legislative instruments, namely the CAP & RED II, for both SC to mitigation and DNSH factors.
o Potential to propose or adopt systems approaches, e.g. agro-ecology to address mixed and/or other farming.

Input – written amendments and documentation:
• Evaluate feedback on best practices for the three sub-sectors (perennial, non-perennial and livestock) and amending as necessary - Approx 30 suggestions for amendments to best practices for each of the three NACE codes.
• Evaluating the extent to which the mitigation practices might provide synergies with adaptation and vice versa – responding to the need for a DNSH for mitigation.
• Written recommendations to be taken forwards by the TEG platform – i.e. areas that the TEG platform need to consider in their future work in the development of the taxonomy.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Proven knowledge in the field of sustainable agriculture and forestry, responsible investment and a strong understanding of land use risks and impact frameworks; graduate degree (or equivalent qualifications) in environmental and land use science, economics, or related discipline; ability to cope with and manage complex projects and activities in an organised and timely manner; proven conceptual, analytical and evaluative skills; excellent communication (spoken and written) skills in English; ability to work independently and with remote teams. Proven track record in managing communications and marketing efforts for global projects or entities. Team player with the ability to build strong internal relationships and networks and navigate between two complex and mutually supportive organizations.
Academic Qualifications: University Degree in required in one of the following areas: environmental studies, economics, management or sustainable development. Ideally, the consultant will have published in this area or have access to, or support from, relevant academic networks.
Experience: 5 years of relevant experience is required, especially in the field of environmental science and/ or responsible investment, or at NGOs, academic organizations, standard-setting bodies.
Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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