Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Expert, Alignment of Finance Portfolios with International Climate Goals
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 05 February 2020 - 09 March 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-131323-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

i. A United Nations-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) which, among other ‘easier to abate’ sectors, effectively addresses 2-3 ‘hard to abate’ ones; which, to that effect, is well coordinated with the World Economic Forum’s Mission Possible Platform; and which regularly convenes a critical and meaningful mass of investors with equally meaningful samples of companies from such sectors

ii. A United Nations-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) which, through its ‘Investment Opportunities’ track, establishes clear and convincing guidelines as to which ‘invest-divest’- type approaches can qualify as part of asset owners’ climate strategies under the Alliance

iii. A Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) that effectively mobilizes banks’ ‘interim’ measures on climate change that are additional by establishing, to that effect, clear ‘policies’, ‘methods’, and/or any other ‘guidelines’ as needed, to guide i) banks’ publication of ‘interim measures’ within 12 months of signing

iv. A Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) that effectively reports on the progress made by signatory banks in 2020 in a way that satisfies corresponding stakeholder expectations

v. CCCA: first progress on harmonizing and ensuring the comparability of indicators, metrics and methodological approach(es) for measuring, setting targets and reporting on alignment.

Work Location

Geneva, Switzerland.

Expected duration

The duration of the contract will initially be six months (with likely possibility of renewal).

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between UN Environment and about 300 banks, insurers and investors. For over 25 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.


In September 2019, during the Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, UNEP FI launched two finance sector platforms aimed at mobilizing, displaying and over time implementing, financial institution commitments to aligning financial portfolios with greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) pathways consistent with the climate change mitigation objective of the Paris Agreement:

1. For institutional asset owners: the United Nations-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA)
2. For banks: the Principles for Responsible Banking’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA)

These international collaborations of financial institutions are convened by UNEP in order to respond to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement Article 2.1.c and so as to over time mobilise increasing volumes of financial flows to become fully consistent with the mitigation objectives of the Paris Agreement’s Article 2.1.a.

1. The United Nations-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA)

UNEP FI, together with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), has been mandated to serve as Secretariat for the NZAOA.

The Alliance consists of a Steering Group (SG) of asset owners at CEO-level, a working-level Steering Group (SG), a Scientific and Strategic Advisory Body (SSAB) and 7 work tracks to implement the Alliance commitment.

In November 2019, the Alliance developed a draft Implementation Plan for 2020 consisting of 7 work tracks, including 4 working groups of asset owners.

As Secretariat, UNEP FI has been mandated to:

i.Establish and operationalize the Alliance Steering Groups and the Advisory Body

ii.Support, together with the PRI, the execution of the 2020 Implementation Plan, by convening and enabling the delivery of the work programmes through the 7 work tracks

UNEP FI currently does not have the expertise nor bandwidth in-house to carry out all of the above-mentioned mandates and tasks.
i. within the Alliance’s ‘Engagement’ track, coordinate and execute sector-level investor engagements vis-a-vis the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Mission Possible’ platform, focusing on 2-3 of the ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors that will be convened through that platform to discuss and clarify a number of sectoral decarbonization pathways
ii. within the Alliance’s ‘Investment Opportunities’ track, coordinate and support the corresponding working group of asset owners to establish ‘divest-invest’-type approaches that qualify for inclusion in asset owners’ climate strategies under the Alliance, and to develop respective guidelines

2. Principles for Responsible Banking’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA)

UNEP FI also serves as the Secretariat to the Principles for Responsible Banking, and by extension, as the Secretariat to the CCCA.

As part of their commitment under the CCCA, signatory banks pledge to set and publish sector-specific, scenario-based targets for their portfolios, no later than three years after signing up to the CCCA.

In the meantime - and within 12 months of signing - the banks in the CCCA also commit to publish and initiate a set of ‘interim measures’ that will catalyse and support their clients’ shift towards climate-compatible business models and technologies.

Below are the tentative priority areas for CCCA work and implementation in 2020. The Expert, Alignment of Finance Portfolios with International Climate Goals, will be working in tandem with a Project Manager.

i. Helping less advanced banks, including from developing and emerging economies, to understand and apply existing portfolio alignment approaches, methods and metrics. (Project Manager in the lead with technical inputs from Climate Alignment Expert)

ii. Working with advanced/all banks to a common way of reporting on and maybe a number of common metrics for banks’ publication of ‘interim measures’ within 12 months of signing. (Climate Alignment Expert in the lead with support from Project Manager)

iii. Working with advanced banks on harmonizing and ensuring the comparability of indicators, metrics and methodological approach(es) for measuring, setting targets and reporting on alignment. (Climate Alignment Expert in the lead with support from Project Manager)

iv. Producing a first account on the progress made in 2020 by the collective of CCCA banks. (Climate Alignment Expert in the lead with support from Project Manager)

v. UNEP FI currently does not have the expertise nor bandwidth in-house to carry out all of the corresponding tasks. It, therefore, requires the assistance of a Climate Alignment Expert.

UNEP FI requires a Expert, Alignment of Finance Portfolios with International Climate Goals to:

• In collaboration with the PRI, support the preparation and convening of the NZAOA’s work track on ‘Investment Opportunities’

• In the NZAOA’s work track on ‘Investment Opportunities’ support asset owners’ exploration, deliberations, and development of guidelines.

• Support preparation, execution, documentation, and follow-up, of all interactions of the NZAOA’s ‘Investment Opportunities’ track

•Work with the asset owners in the NZAOA and with dedicated staff at the World Economic Forum to convene sector-level investor engagements with company samples from ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors

• Document key lessons learnt, next steps, and future actions, from these convenings.

• Helping less advanced banks, including from developing and emerging economies, to understand and apply existing portfolio alignment approaches, methods and metrics. (Project Manager in the lead with technical inputs from Climate Alignment Expert)

• Working with advanced/all banks to common way of reporting on and maybe a number of common metrics for banks’ publication of ‘interim measures’ within 12 months of signing. (Climate Alignment Expert in the lead with support from Project Manager)

• Working with advanced banks on harmonizing and ensuring the comparability of indicators, metrics and methodological approach(es) for measuring, setting targets and reporting on alignment. (Climate Alignment Expert in the lead with support from Project Manager)

• Producing a first account on the progress made in 2020 by the collective of CCCA banks. (Climate Alignment Expert in the lead with support from Project Manager).

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The consultant should have a proven and established track record on climate-change-related assessments and analyses, particularly from a financial services perspective. They should have in-depth knowledge of the various emerging approaches and methodologies to measure and set targets on climate alignment of financial, ideally banking, portfolios. S/he should equally be familiar with the relevant ongoing discussions and institutions involved in this space. They should have a deep understanding of topics at the interface of climate change (or similar environmental challenges) and corporate/financial strategies. They should be experienced in facilitating collaborative working groups with different stakeholder types, particularly on the theme and challenge of climate change, and particularly in the financial services industry.

Academic Qualifications: A Master’s University degree is required in economics, finance, environmental studies, international relations, business administration or related fields.

Experience: The candidate should have experience working with companies, ideally financial institutions, to assess their climate impact and develop strategies and KPI to achieve climate alignment. 7 years of experience is required in international organisations, academia, the financial services sector, private sector or NGOs are required examining the intersection between sustainable development - particularly climate change -, infrastructure, policy and financial risk & opportunity.

Language: Fluent written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of other official languages in the United Nations System is an advantage.

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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