Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Consultant - Programme Support - project-managing UNEP FI’s phase 3 activities on the TCFD adoption in the banking and investment industries,
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 24 March 2021 - 14 April 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-152603-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

1. Assist with the drafting TORs – to engage, select and secure third-party institutional and network partners for regional TCFD initiatives related to UNEP FI’s TCFD program.

2. Hold periodic bilateral conversations with each participating institution (as needed) in order to discuss their current engagement in the programme and their institutional progress.

3. Support 2-4 summary workshops on the tools and outputs of Phase II of the banking programme and their applicability to climate risk practices in the financial sector. These workshops will also cover the latest developments in climate risk regulation, with a specific focus on disclosure guidance and on climate stress testing.

4. Co-host 2-4 workshops on climate risks, climate risk assessments, TCFD disclosures, and climate risk management for regional financial institutions, with specific focuses on Asia and North America (support the implementation of the GIZ’s Sustainable Finance Asean Project).

5. Work with the third-party partners to organize regional workshops on relevant climate risk topics including climate science, climate risks, climate regulation, and climate scenarios.

6. Provide programme management support to the various working groups of programme participants and partners. The consultant will not be directly responsible for the output of these collaborations, but will help to facilitate meetings, develop workplans, and ensure effective programme management.

7. Assist in the drafting and editing of the final reports from the different modules groups that will reflect the experiences and learnings of the programme participants during the course of the program. These papers will be written in conjunction with third party partners, the bank participants, and other UNEP-FI staff.

8. Support the organisation of report release webinars, social media postings regarding the releases, and updates to the UNEP FI website to reflect these latest content pieces.

Work Location

Working remotely.

Expected duration

The contract will be 5 months in duration.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 300 banks, insurers and investors. For over 28 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.

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 350 financial institutions, which are signatories to the UNEP FI Statements of Environmental Commitment, and a range of partners and organisations, to develop and promote linkages between the environment, sustainability and financial performance.

As part of its 2021 work programme on climate change and building on the outcomes of its first two TCFD pilots in banking, UNEP FI has decided to carry out a Phase 3 of this work (Phase 2 for investors) and has to that effect recruited at least 25 commercial and development banks as well as institutional investors (final number is to be confirmed) that will participate and support this third Phase.

Building from the methodologies, and corresponding insights and recommendations, published by UNEP FI & Partners in 2018 and 2020, Phase 3 of UNEP FI’s work on TCFD adoption has the following objectives:

• Objective area 1: Briefing and training - in depth - UNEP FI member banks that are new to UNEP FI’s TCFD work on the various methodologies developed – and the insights won - in Phases 1 and 2

• Objective area 2: Further developing and enhancing – in partnership with relevant expert stakeholders - a number of the various elements within the ‘toolkit’ that banks currently have at their disposal to carry out forward-looking risk and opportunity assessments, potentially including: i) climate-related scenarios, ii) client data, iii) modelling approaches, iv) legal guidance, etc.

• Objective area 3: Strengthening and institutionalizing links and dialogue - and synchronizing agendas - with relevant platforms, processes, and efforts, particularly those involving financial regulatory organisations (e.g. the Network for Greening the Financial System – NGFS, the EU Action Plan), client industry associations, the proceedings of the TCFD itself, and investor efforts (through the Principles for Responsible Investment, or UNEP FI’s own investor piloting of the TCFD)

To that effect UNEP FI requires a consultant to provide programme management support to UNEP FI’s new TCFD programmes for banks and investors, and to further establish, run, and coordinate the required work, across the three objective areas listed above.

Objectives:

Objective area 1: The knowledge and experience gained during the first two phases of the TCFD pilot for banks and the first phase of the TCFD pilot for investors, which has already been undertaken, has been transferred to UNEP FI member banks that have joined this new TCFD pilot program. Banks and investors participating in this new programme will directly engage with the tools, frameworks, and approaches developed in prior pilot phases. This will be completed through a number (1-2 per quarter) of group interactions between the consultant and the participating financial institutions. These interactions will include assignments for participating institutions to complete to ensure their familiarity with the programme resources. This will then allow each institution to actively implement approaches for assessing transition and physical risks in their portfolios.

Objective area 2: In 2-4 focus areas, the UNEP FI Secretariat, with the assistance of external partners, will develop relevant inputs and tools (such as scenarios, data, methodologies, legal guidance) for banks and investors - or enhancements of existing such inputs and tools – needed to effectively conduct scenario-based assessment for disclosure of climate- related risks and opportunities have been developed, or a roadmap for their development has been established. The consultant will provide programme management to the engagements between the participating institutions and the partners to ensure that refinements and enhancements are developed in a timely manner.

Objective area 3: Once the results of the pilot are known they will then be distributed to industry practitioners around the world. Relevant stakeholders (investors, clients, regulators and policy makers) will be made aware of the results of these pilots and the leading role taken by the pilot banks and investors. The consultant will assist in the production and distribution of these final materials. This will lead to a developed approach to TCFD disclosure and coordinated expectations from investors’, high impact industries’ and stakeholders.

Outputs of services:

Objective area 1

• Bilateral conversations with current banking and investment participants in UNEP FI’s TCFD programs in order to understand their institutional progress on climate risk and their desired modules within the new TCFD program.

Objective area 2

• Support the formalization of relationships with the specific partners seeking to engage with UNEP FI on TCFD programs. This includes support for work with regional initiatives and multilateral development banks. The consultant will agree with the partners on a suitable engagement structure and draft the relevant terms of reference.

• Develop a set of training materials for UNEP FI’s TCFD tools and outputs that can be delivered in 2-4 workshops to regional partners.

• Create the content and curriculum for 3-4 workshops on climate risks, climate risk assessments, TCFD disclosures, and climate risk management for regional financial institutions, with specific focuses on Asia and North America.

• For these regional initiatives, organize a sequence of virtual group interactions between programme participants and partners to facilitate TCFD knowledge transfer between UNEP FI, partners, and the participating institutions.

Objective area 3

• Provide editorial support to thought papers created by the modules and participant case studies. Work with lead authors to ensure that the report conclusions are finalized and disseminated in a series of public and internal UNEP FI webinars.

• Support the dissemination of the final outputs through the use of social media posts and updates on the UNEP FI website.

Specific tasks and responsibilities

The consultant will:

1. Undertake the drafting TORs and contracts – to engage, select and secure third-party institutional and network partners for regional TCFD initiatives related to UNEP FI’s TCFD program.

2. Hold periodic bilateral conversations with each participating institution (as needed) in order to discuss their current engagement in the programme and their institutional progress.

3. Support 2-4 summary workshops on the tools and outputs of Phase II of the banking programme and their applicability to climate risk practices in the financial sector. These workshops will also cover the latest developments in climate risk regulation, with a specific focus on disclosure guidance and on climate stress testing.

4. Co-host 2-4 workshops on climate risks, climate risk assessments, TCFD disclosures, and climate risk management for regional financial institutions, with specific focuses on Asia and North America.

5. Work with the third-party partners to organize regional workshops on relevant climate risk topics including climate science, climate risks, climate regulation, and climate scenarios.

6. Provide programme management support to the various working groups of programme participants and partners. The consultant will not be directly responsible for the output of these collaborations, but will help to facilitate meetings, develop workplans, and ensure effective programme management.

7. Assist in the drafting and editing of the final reports from the different modules groups that will reflect the experiences and learnings of the programme participants during the course of the program. These papers will be written in conjunction with third party partners, the bank participants, and other UNEP-FI staff.

8. Support the organisation of report release webinars, social media postings regarding the releases, and updates to the UNEP FI website to reflect these latest content pieces.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP FI, and report directly to the Programme Officer Climate Change. The final deliverables shall also be approved by the Head of UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The consultant(s) should have a proven track record supporting international programmes involving different stakeholder types, particularly financial organisations, and with a particular focus on sustainable finance and climate risks.

Academic Qualifications: University degree in economics, finance, environmental studies, international relations, business administration or related fields.

Experience: 3 years of experience in the environmental non-profit sector, the financial services sector, commercial consulting, or conducted applied academic research on sustainable finance. This experience should be relevant for examining climate risks, climate policies, and the role of the financial sector in climate action.

Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. English is mandatory for this consultancy. 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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