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: 28 September 2020 - 05 October 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-141824-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Through these tasks the CCCA will make significant progress in establishing and operationalizing itself during its first year of existence.

Support for Working Group I (“Learners Group”):

1. Support the banks in the CCCA Working Group 1 in convening and having structured, results-oriented discussions, including via the sector and/or geography specific ‘study groups’ that have been established.
2. Compile and analyze the findings and outcomes of the Working Group 1 ‘study groups’, identify bank needs, and develop and organize a curriculum of ‘clinics’ aimed at responding to those needs. Such ‘clinics’ are meant to mobilize parties - from within the CCCA as well as beyond – to give briefings to WG1 banks on specific, not yet fully understood matters and questions of relevance.

Report on relevant measures taken in the first 12 months:

3. Support all CCCA banks, as needed (on a standby capacity), in their in-time completion and submission of the reporting template relevant to the Collective Commitment to Climate Action for measures taken within the first 12 months. The template has already been developed, finalized and circulated among all CCCA banks.
4. Help ensure that most, if not all, CCCA banks complete and submit the template in time.
5. Carry out a full analysis of the body of the completed templates received; contextualize the outcomes of that analysis.
6. Based on the outcomes of the analysis, jointly with the CCCA Communications lead develop and outline for the report (/communications piece) as well as a first draft for the technical content.

Standards/guidance on common standards for climate target setting and reporting agreed by all CCCA signatories:

7. Support the banks in Working Group II in agreeing on and outlining what aspects should be harmonized/included in guidance (e.g. metrics, methodologies, reporting requirements) and which other initiatives (SBTI FI, PACTA, PCAF, Net-Zero Alliance, etc.) we need to coordinate with.
8. Develop an initial proposal (or outline options) for each of the agreed aspects (e.g. metrics, methodologies, reporting requirements) based on which the Working Group can start discussing and negotiating the final framework/standards/guidance.

Onboarding and guidance for new, full time team member(s):

9. Onboard and guide the new team member(s) that will take on the management and support of the CCA banks in the longer term.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The duration of the contract will be five months.

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.

The groundbreaking Collective Commitment to Climate Action is the farthest-reaching commitment to climate alignment by the banking sector to date and has been joined by 36 banks jointly representing almost USD 20 trillion. It sets out concrete and time-bound actions that banks will take to scale up their contribution to and align their lending with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate, including:

• aligning their portfolios to reflect and finance the low-carbon, climate-resilient economy required to limit global warming to well-below 2, striving for 1.5 degrees Celsius;
• taking concrete action, within a year of joining, and use their products, services and client relationships to facilitate the economic transition required to achieve climate neutrality;
• being publicly accountable for their climate impact and progress on these commitments.

UNEP FI serves as the Secretariat to the Principles for Responsible Banking, and by extension, as the Secretariat to the Collective Commitment to Climate Action.

As part of their commitment, 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 Collective Commitment to Climate Action. In the meantime - and within 12 months of signing - the banks have also committed to publish and initiate a set of ‘interim measures’ that will catalyze and support their clients’ shift towards climate-compatible business models and technologies. The UNEP FI Secretariat is tasked to facilitate support as well as a certain degree of harmonization and common standards for signatory banks.

UNEP FI is looking for an Expert on Alignment of Finance Portfolios with International Climate Goals to work at 50% capacity on the Principles for Responsible Banking’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA).

About the Position

Priority areas and specific tasks and responsibilities for the Collective Commitment to Climate Action include:

i. Helping less advanced banks, including from developing and emerging economies, to understand and apply existing portfolio alignment approaches, methods and metrics
ii. Leading on the development of the first CCCA report on progress focused on banks’ ‘interim measures’, including the required data analytics
iii. Working with advanced/all banks to plan, design and initiate a process to develop and if possible common, agreed-on way of setting portfolio alignment targets and reporting on progress

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of Mr. Eric Usher, Head UNEP FI and report directly to Simone Dettling (on CCCA-related matters), UNEP FI Programme Officer on Banking, and to Remco Fischer (on NZAOA-related matters), UNEP FI Programme Officer on Climate Change. Final deliverables will be approved by Mr. Eric Usher, Head UNEP FI.

Outputs of services:

1. A set of study group calls, and guidelines, as needed and desired by the banks in the group (see above for more elaboration)

2. An outline of learnings, outcomes, implications and next steps emerging from the study groups, and a corresponding schedule of ensuing ‘clinics’ (see above)

3. A set of clinics as established by the banks to be useful and required

4. An outline of key messages coming from the analysis of banks’ submission of interim measures, and contextualization of those messages as needed

5. A table of contents for the first report on progress from CCCA

6. A first draft CCCA report on progress

7. A second and final CCCA draft report on progress

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. S/he 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. S/he should have a deep understanding of topics at the interface of climate change (or similar environmental challenges) and corporate/financial strategies.

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 in economics, finance, environmental studies, international relations, business administration or related fields.
Languages – English is the working language of UNEP FI. English is mandatory for this consultancy. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

Experience: Should have experience working with companies, ideally financial institutions, to assess their climate impact and develop strategies and KPI to achieve climate alignment. At least 7 years of experience 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: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

No Fee


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