Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Climate Risk Pricing for Project Investments Consultant, Egypt
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 May 2021 - 13 June 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-155926-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultant will support the Government of Egypt (lead tbc: Ministry of Planning and Econonic Development and/or Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency), UNEP FI and CCRI in delivering the scoping phase of the CCRI pilot project. This will include delivery of a feasibility assessment of the proposed project including stakeholder mapping, stakeholder needs, feasible infrastructure / investment priorities; a data review of relevant climate, infrastructure, socio-economic and policy datasets; identification and alignment with relevant national policies and infrastructure plans; and a framework agreement on project prioritisation tool output and functionality. The consultant will also be responsible for a high-level capacity needs assessment; and deliver a funding readiness assessment in line with a framework to be selected by the principal project partners – GoE and UNEP FI – to support a potential funding application. The consultant will also manage overall coordination between the key project partners, particularly relevant ministries and agencies of the Government of Egypt, in preparation of subsequent phases of the pilot project (if funding available), as well as identifying and seizing opportunities to promote and outreach and visibility of the project.

Work Location

Cairo, Egypt

Expected duration

The contract will be 6 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.

UNEP FI and the SDG Climate Facility project
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 over 300 financial institutions, which are signatories to the UNEP FI Statements of Environmental Commitment, and a range of partners and industry organisations, to develop and promote linkages between the environment, sustainability and financial performance. UNEP FI is strongly engaged in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where climate change poses a major challenge. The region is among those most affected by the impacts of climate change, particularly sea level rise, variations in rainfall and water scarcity, which will have dire consequences on food production and energy generation. Equally, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is essential to the region; in particular those that help deal with the interlinked water-energy-food challenges and with poverty and inequality.
The Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction all stress that climate change and disaster risk management must be integrated into short-term responses and development planning, to build sustainability and resilience over the long-term. Addressing climate change and meeting the SDGs requires mobilization of all resources and a gradual shift of financing models from “conventional” to “sustainable”.

Against this background, UNEP FI has joined a multi-partner programme, the SDG Climate Facility project, where we aim to leverage our expertise, as well as our global membership, to help deliver innovative approaches to climate finance in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment
UNEP FI has a strong engagement in climate change issues, firstly in driving Paris alignment / net-zero goals in the finance sector and, secondly, in building finance sector capacity in climate risk assessment. However, the MENA region is likely to be particularly affected by the physical impacts of climate change, requiring a different approach to our current mainstream climate initiatives in order to scale up adaptation financing. An important barrier to private sector financing for adaptation is investors systematically mispricing physical climate risks (PCRs) due to the lack of consistency in the assessment of these risks, despite their increasing financial materiality. This results in the continued development of infrastructure and other long-term, capital-intensive projects that are not adapted to future climate change. The Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) seeks to address this by adjusting the incentive structure so that climate-adapted projects are more cost effective from the initial investment stage.

The CCRI has brought together private sector partners representing over $15tn assets under management with governments and multilateral institutions, including UNEP FI, to pilot a set of analytical and investment solutions that better address PCRs in investment decision-making. The objectives of the Coalition are threefold:

1. Develop national decision-making tools for sovereign institutions to better identify, prioritise and group investments at a national level.
2. Capture climate resilience in investment design and structuring of individual projects by adjusting cashflow modelling practices.
3. Define and develop financial instruments incorporating insurance and credit risk to ensure resilient returns of investment. This approach would allow for certification of climate resilient investment products and form the basis of innovative financial instruments, i.e. resilience bonds.

The Government of Egypt
The planning of major investment projects requires coordination between the public and private sectors. Therefore, government leadership is paramount and, given the focus of this study on the integration of climate adaptation in major project planning, the Ministries of the Environment and Planning & Economic Development are central to this activity. Other ministries or government agencies may need to be included as stakeholders depending on the type of infrastructure / investment selected for analysis.

The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development is the other key line ministry and would be most relevant for assessing policy, planning and climate resilience of major public investment projects. The Minister of Planning and Economic Development is H.E. Dr Hala al-Said – a prominent economist and member of the Central Bank of Egypt’s Board of Directors, as well as a former Executive Director of the Egyptian Banking Institute.

The Ministry of the Environment is the key ministry for climate adaptation and is headed by H.E. Dr Yasmine Fouad, who was appointed Minister of the Environment on 18 June 2018. She has played a major role in leading the development of the Post-2020 Biological Diversity Framework as Head of the COP14 CBD, as well as co-leading the climate finance negotiation track at UNFCCC COP24 in Katowice, resulting in development of the finance part of the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The Ministry’s mission incudes the preparation of plans for environmental development projects, including pilot projects.

The technical and implementation arm of the Ministry is the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, led by its CEO, Dr Enas Aboutaleb, an international expert in wastewater treatment and formerly professor in environmental science at the National Research Centre of Egypt. The Agency’s mission is broad and includes the following relevant tasks:

o Gather national and international information on the environmental situation and the changes affecting it on a periodical basis in cooperation with the information centres of other agencies, publish such information and evaluate and utilize it in environmental management and planning.
o Lay down the principles and procedures for assessing the environmental effects of projects.

The EEAA also hosts the National Designated Authority (NDA) for the Green Climate Fund and the Designated Authority (DA) for the Adaptation Fund, providing Egypt’s interface with two international climate funds. The NDA/DA positions provide broad strategic oversight of the funds’ activities in the country and communicates the country’s priorities for financing low-emission or climate-resilient development.

In terms of the wider Egyptian Government, the project should coordinate with (non-exhaustive):
o Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation;
o Relevant line ministries with water, energy, transport network data.

CCRI Pilot Project Scoping in Egypt
Focusing on the first of the CCRI’s objectives – to develop national decision-making tools for sovereign institutions – UNEP FI is bringing together its work on the SDG Climate Facility Project (Activity 3.3.3) and CCRI to scope a pilot systemic risk analysis tool at the national level in the MENA region, which will integrate the experience from the CCRI’s initial country level case study in Jamaica (ongoing). Bringing the CCRI risk pricing methodology to the MENA region would allow the tools to be tested in a very different context to Jamaica and provide the MENA region with access to an innovative approach to addressing adaptation financing bottlenecks. More information on CCRI can be found here: http://resilientinvestment.org/

The main government contact point is still to be decided but is likely to be either the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs and/or the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. The relevant government entity will host this project in partnership with UNEP FI. Egypt has a high profile in international adaptation and resilience fora including the 2019 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit. Furthermore, Egypt is exposed to climate hazards including sea level rise, rising temperatures and changing precipitation, while the country’s population is vulnerable to climate shocks, particularly those that affect water and food security. This pilot would support the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as local private sector stakeholders, in developing the tools necessary to improve project planning, design and investment in the face of climate change. The scope of work under this country-level pilot project is likely to include:

1. Developing a tool for the prioritisation of public and private investments in infrastructure based on the projected protection of economic and social value associated to these investments against physical climate risks in a time frame commensurate with the operational life of the infrastructure asset and predicted climate change impacts. This tool will build greater confidence in long-term investing from both Egyptian public and private sources of financing.
2. Creation and programming of a sequenced and paradigm-shifting project pipeline through national infrastructure spatial planning, including NBS for climate resilience, project design, and financial engineering focused on crowding in private sector funding. This activity should encompass identification of gaps in local capacity, focused on delivering successful take-up, scale-up, and replication. Based on this analysis, the initiative can structure tailor-made capacity building strategies that ultimately target the development and successful implementation of the project pipeline.
3. Benefitting from other areas of technical work of the CCRI. Proposed co-operation should also allow our Egyptian partners to understand and derive from solutions, which are to be developed under other CCRI work streams.

However, before embarking on a full pilot study, UNEP FI need to assess the feasibility of the pilot before applying for further funding to develop the full programme described above. This scoping study comprises three elements:

1. Feasibility assessment:
• Building the key relationships with the principal stakeholders and developing the structure of the project steering committee;
• Conducting a mapping of stakeholders that would be necessary to deliver the project and could benefit from the project;
• Raising awareness among identified stakeholders and building the in-country network;
• Assessing the sources, quality and type of data required as inputs into the systemic risk model. This work will be guided by a technical advisor;
• Reviewing and supporting the key Government stakeholders in selecting the critical infrastructure networks for inclusion in the risk model and project prioritisation tool;
• Aligning the risk pricing study with national policies and infrastructure plans.
• Agreeing with the Government and other project stakeholders on tool functionality and outputs; and,
• Delivery of feasibility assessment report.

2. Capacity needs assessment and plan:
• Identification of gaps in public and private institutions’ ability to understand risks and needs. The consultant should organise and deliver a series of consultation workshops to support this work.
• Identification of frameworks to support public and private entities to integrate social, environmental and economic values into investment and planning decision-making by incorporating, for example, the use of nature-based solutions. This work will be guided by the technical lead.
• Deliver a high-level paper on the data gaps, specific needs and feasibility conditions.

3. Funding readiness assessment:
• Support the Government of Egypt to make a self-assessment of readiness needs in line with standard funding frameworks such as the GCF or Adaptation Fund to be agreed with the EEAA and UNEP FI.
• Support the Government of Egypt in mapping a country-specific approach to funding readiness planning, including capacity of the EEAA, stakeholder engagement and implementation capacity for funding from sources to be agreed with the EEAA and UNEP FI.

CCRI Egypt Pilot Project Coordinator
UNEP FI is looking for a consultant to deliver this scoping study in support of the Government of Egypt. The consultant will be the principal point of contact for the various project stakeholders and be responsible for a number of key activities in Egypt, including, but not limited to:
- Project coordination in-country;
- Feasibility assessment (see above);
- Capacity needs assessment and plan (see above);
- Funding readiness assessment (see above);
- Supporting UNEP FI and the Government of Egypt (Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and/or Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, EEAA) in identifying suitable sources of funding to deliver the second (main) phase of the project;
- Supporting UNEP FI and the Government of Egypt in identifying (a )suitable technical consultant(s) to deliver the second phase of the project;
- Identifying and delivering on opportunities to communicate the aims, objectives and work of the project through the Government’s and UNEP FI’s social media, engagement through national, regional workshops and conferences.
- Maintaining regular communications with all project partners.
During the scoping study, a technical lead will likely be available to provide expert advice and input on some of the feasibility assessment and capacity building elements of the scoping study.

Under the direct supervision of the UNEP FI Climate Lead, Remco Fischer, working in close coordination with UNEP FI Climate Consultant, Paul Smith, and UNEP FI’s SDG Climate Facility project coordinator, Nuran Atef, the consultant will carry out the following project tasks for the UNEP FI / CCRI Egypt Pilot Project:

- Project governance framework;
- Organising the project steering committee and regular meetings thereof;
- Mapping the wider stakeholder network and build awareness of the project throughout the stakeholder network;
- Project-relevant data needs and sources assessment;
- Project-relevant data gathering to support the technical consultant;
- Identification and assessment of project-relevant national infrastructure plans and priorities;
- Delivery of consultation process on selecting investment priorities for systemic climate risk assessment;
- In-country support to UNEP FI, and the technical lead for the CCRI systemic risk and project prioritisation work;
- Project-relevant capacity needs assessment, including the organisation and delivery of consultation meetings;
- Support the Government of Egypt in assessing their readiness for funding from international climate funds, including workshops to build capacity and understanding of funding sources and how they are delivered if necessary;
- Delivery of one opening project workshop and one workshop at launch of the project scoping study report;
- Monthly project progress report to UNEP FI (max. 2 pages).
- Draft briefing paper to support CCRI presentation at COP26 in November (max. 8 pages)
- Scoping study report in electronic format (max. 35 pages, excluding appendices). The report should include all work carried out during the scoping study, including:
o Stakeholder mapping.
o Project governance and management framework, including communications.
o Review of data availability & quality and data gaps.
o Review of proposed infrastructure / investment projects for inclusion in the systemic risk and project prioritisation analysis.
o Review of infrastructure planning and policy
o Capacity needs assessment.
o Funding readiness assessment.

Meanwhile the consultant will:
- Share bi-weekly updates with the Geneva-based UNEP FI Climate Consultant on project progress.

Delivery and implementation of SDG Climate Facility activities:

Project coordination and stakeholder mapping
1. Identify relevant project stakeholders and develop the project governance framework accordingly. This should incorporate key stakeholders, including relevant entities of the Government of Egypt, UNEP FI, CCRI secretariat, technical consultants, private sector stakeholders and SDG Climate Facility partners.
2. Develop a project governance, management and communications plan, including updating the project timeline and identifying suitable channels for project communications, through regular meetings, project briefings, media channels to be decided on in partnership with key stakeholders.
Scoping phase support
3. Identify, in partnership with the Government of Egypt and technical lead, critical infrastructure networks, strategies and plans that are of critical importance for society and the economy, including data sources.
4. Identify sources of relevant data, including climate, meteorological, hydrological, infrastructure, utility networks, transport networks, mapping, economic and cost data, to support climate risk assessment and infrastructure vulnerability by the technical consultant.
5. Identify data gaps in collaboration with the technical lead. Data analysis will focus on the infrastructure networks identified in the scoping phase and the national infrastructure planning agenda.
6. Engage relevant stakeholders from the Government and private sector and support dialogue with the technical lead to define critical needs in order to shape the systemic risk assessment tool’s outputs and functionality, including through consultation workshops and discussion groups.
Capacity building
7. Conduct a capacity gap analysis focused on climate resilience, project planning and design and financial engineering, addressing in particular relevant Government ministries and agencies and other relevant stakeholders from the private sector. This should include the organisat ion of at least two consultation workshops,
8. Develop a capacity building strategy, based on the needs assessment, to be agreed with the CCRI and the Government of Egypt.

Funding readiness assessment
9. Support the Government of Egypt in a rapid self-assessment of readiness needs using a suitable funding institution standard framework to be agreed with the EEAA and UNEP FI.
10. Support the Government of Egypt in a country-specific approach to funding readiness planning, including capacity needs, stakeholder engagement and implementation capacity.
Scoping study delivery
11. Deliver one opening workshop with all relevant stakeholders (identified in point 1 above) to launch the scoping study, along with a 10-page inception report.
12. Deliver a second workshop at the end of the scoping study with all relevant stakeholders, along with a scoping phase report (max. 35 pages), including feasibility assessment, capacity needs assessment and plan, funding readiness assessment.

The consultant will be responsible for coordinating activities under this project on behalf of UNEP FI, CCRI and the Government of Egypt including, but not limited to:
- Identification of and engagement with relevant ministries and agencies of the Government of Egypt, relevant local private sector stakeholders of critical importance to the project, including financial institutions, engineers, legal support, as necessary.
- Implementing the project governance and management strategy as described above and ensuring regular communication with all relevant project stakeholders.
- Providing in-country support to the technical lead.
- Engaging with CCRI partners in order to shape the capacity building strategy and to deliver relevant trainings and workshops.
- Maintaining regular communications with the Geneva-based UNEP FI climate consultant and Cairo-based UNEP FI SDG-Climate Facility project coordinator.

Outputs and Deliverables:

• Inception report, including project communication and governance plan.
• Project scoping study report, including:
o Feasibility assessment,
o Capacity needs assessment,
o Funding readiness assessment.
• At least one project inception workshop and one project workshop to launch the scoping study report.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP Finance Initiative and report directly to the Climate Change Lead of UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Proven knowledge of infrastructure and/or project investment policy and planning is required, as well as an understanding of project financing. Knowledge of infrastructure policy, planning and delivery in the Egyptian market is highly desirable. Skilled in convening public and private sector stakeholders to create consensus or mobilise action. Ability to juggle varied activities in an organized and timely manner; Excellent communication skills (listening, spoken and written). Strong interpersonal and relationship management skills. Ability to translate new and diverse ideas and concepts into tangible outcomes, to identify and prioritize common interests in a diverse set of points of view. The incumbent is expected to work independently with minimal supervision and must have significant latitude to be self-directed and be highly motivated. Problem solving skills are desirable. Fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic required.

Academic Qualifications: A University degree is required in economics and/or finance, engineering, business, environmental studies, climate change, politics.

Experience: 7 years’ experience is required working in infrastructure project policy, planning and/or development, project financing, sustainable finance or government. Experience of building and managing relationships with external stakeholders. Experience of presenting and moderating conference calls and organising events/workshops. Experience of writing/editing technical reports. Desirable: Programme management experience in international organizations, NGOs or consultancies. Experience working with government institutions in Egypt. Experience working on public-private sector partnerships, specifically in the field of sustainable finance, climate action, or infrastructure policyor in a related field such as corporate responsibility. Knowledge of project risk. Knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation. Knowledge of working with international funding agencies, particularly those with a focus on climate.

Language: Fluency in written and oral English and Arabic is required.

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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