Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Expert required for leading UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance initiative (PSI) grounding paper on environmental liability and sustainable insurance
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 13 July 2020 - 03 August 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-138356-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The outcomes of this services will be used to strengthen UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance initiative (PSI) activities through preparing for the delivery of a grounding paper on environmental liability and sustainable insurance. The aim is to promote innovation and knowledge sharing in the insurance industry to contribution to reducing pollution and achieving safer and less-toxic material flows in order to protect human health and the environment.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The contract is fora 3 Month duration.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Finance Initiative of UN Environment (UNEP FI) is a partnership between United Nations Environment and the global financial sector created in the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit with a mission to promote sustainable banking, insurance and investment. The Financial Initiative works with more than 250 financial institutions, including banks, insurers and investors, to raise awareness, advance technical knowledge, build capacity and convene key stakeholders to work towards aligning financing with objectives under the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

In February 2019, UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, launched the first-ever insurance industry guide to manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks—or sustainability risks.

The guide shows how insurers can develop a systematic approach to managing ESG risks such as climate change, environmental degradation, protected sites and species, animal welfare, human rights, controversial weapons, and corruption.

Despite the pioneering nature of the insurance industry sustainability guide on ESG risks, it does not specifically address environmental liability risks.

Furthermore, the insurance industry is a major investor, with global assets under management of more than USD 30 trillion. Therefore, it is equally important to understand environmental liability risks in the context of insurers as institutional investors.

In this regard, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative, supported by DB Insurance. Co., is carrying out a project focused on the potential to mobilize the insurance industry’s role as a risk manager, insurer and investor specifically regarding environmental liability insurance.

The Expert shall be under the overall supervision of the Head UNEP FI and report directly to Insurance Programme Officer, UNEP FI and Asia Pacific regional programme officer, UNEP FI.

During the assignment, in this contract the Expert will prepare the research that would undertake the following research that would later form the foundations of a ground breaking study paper.

• Understand how environmental liabilities manifest themselves across lines of insurance business (non-life and life & health insurance) and across asset classes

• Identify strategies and actions for the insurance industry to better manage environmental liability risks in terms of risk assessment and analytics, risk reduction measures, insurance products, and investments; including the role of insurance regulators and supervisors in this agenda.

The study will include a stock take on innovation and the potential for the insurance industry to scale up environmental liability insurance with a view to mitigating pollution risks. It will explore the role of environmental liability-related risk management services; insurance products and investments with a view to mitigating pollution risks. It will explore how the insurance industry could strengthen its risk management, insurance and investment activities in support of relevant UNEA4 Resolutions which are:

• Resolution 4. Addressing environmental challenges through sustainable business practices – Namely, “Invites Member States, the international community, private sector and other stakeholders to promote the development and strengthening of sustainable financing mechanisms, such as green bonds, to promote inclusion of sustainability in business for the uptake and upscaling of sustainable business approaches, including but not limited to green business practices as appropriate” as well as “to create enabling conditions for policy reforms, as appropriate, innovative practices and technologies, economic instruments, investments and regional cooperation to encourage efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint and enhance sustainable manufacturing”;

• Resolution 5. Environmentally sound management of waste – Namely, Inviting members states to “engage the private sector, civil society, waste producers, local authorities and the public, and promote public private initiatives and alliances, in the sound management of solid waste including through market mechanisms and capacity building to promote sustainable consumption and production, including but not limited to a circular economy and other sustainable economic models” and to “Promote public and private sector waste management innovative financing solutions”.

The scope will also include links to the UN Environment Assembly 3 action plan on pollution, covering air; land and soil; freshwater; marine and coastal pollution, as well as cross-cutting sources and sectoral approaches to tackling pollution from an insurance industry perspective. The report will include analysis of the potential to scale up the role of insurers in monitoring and raising the environmental management capacity of pollution intensive industries.

The grounding paper, which this research will contribute to, will cover different lines of insurance business and asset classes for analysis of regional and global insurance market development in relation to environment liability. It will include the insurance industry’s role in mobilizing insurance and investment solutions, e.g. renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution abatement, waste prevention, green building, environmental risk management systems, and resilient infrastructure.

The primary target audience of the study will be environment and finance ministries, regulators and the insurance industry. Findings will include recommendations for public policy-makers and the insurance industry on options for insurers to help understand, prevent, reduce and transfer related risks.

A launch event of the paper will be subsequently organized. The event will take the form of an international PSI market event, hosted by DB Insurance Co., in Seoul, Korea.

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Leader at UN Environment's Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative, the Expert will undertake the following tasks:

• Review literature on how environmental liability risks manifest themselves across lines of insurance business non-life and life & health insurance) and across asset classes
• Interview select insurers, re insurers, brokers, regulators and key stakeholders (e.g. NGOs) on the strategies and actions taken to manage environmental liability risks in terms of risk assessment and analytics, risk reduction measures, insurance products, and investments;
• Conduct global survey of the insurance industry and its key stakeholders, primarily through the PSI's global network of member and stakeholder organizations on the strategies and actions taken to manage environmental liability risks in terms of risk assessment and analytics, risk reduction measures, insurance products, and investments.
• Report synthesising the finding from interviews of select insurers, re insurers, brokers, regulators and key stakeholders (e.g. NGOs).
• Report synthesizing the finding from a global survey of the insurance industry and its key stakeholders, primarily through the PSI's global network of member and stakeholder organizations.
• Prepare a final report on strategies and actions for the insurance industry to better manage environmental liability risks.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The Expert should have a proven track record in international project management involving different stakeholder types, particularly corporate and financial organisations, and with a particular focus on insurers. Experience and expertise on environmental liability challenges are considered a significant asset.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (master's degree or equivalent) is required in insurance, risk management, investment, finance, business administration, economics, environmental/sustainability studies, or related fields.

Experience: At least 7 years of experience is required in insurance and/or investment management or similar area. Excellent analytical skills and written and oral communication skills.

Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Working knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.

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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