Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Resources & Markets Branch - Trade Finance Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 22 October 2021 - 28 October 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-166813-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

A comprehensive desk research for the “policy brief” covering all relevant aspects of the content outlined above:
- Interconnections of trade and trade/export-related finance and the sustainability transformation of the global economy
- concrete exemplification and run-down of the current approaches on trade & export finance to sustainabilitiy solutions, including a deep dive into banks’ and ECAs actions
- A mapping of linkages between current approaches to sustainable trade/export finance by above-mentioned actors and multilateral trade finance initiatives such as the Aid for Trade, and regional efforts through RTAs.
- The selection of 2/3 possible sectors of action with concrete specifications on the rationale of their relevance for further policy engagement with governments, ECAs and banks.
- Active engagement with UNEP Environment and Trade Hub & UNEP FI teams to identify the concrete structure and content of the work, identifying areas where further information can be provided or engagement with banks, or other actors relevant to trade finance is required.
- A comprehensive synthesis of relevant research such as document review, surveys, structured interviews, relating to the task at hand, looking into the implications of trade & export-related finance
- The delivery of the completed final outcome – policy brief draft document (of around 10/15 pages) – for revision to UNEP Environment and Trade Hub & UNEP FI teams before 31 December 2021.

Work Location

Working Remotely

Expected duration

The duration of the contract will be for 2 Months.

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. UNEP’s Economic and Trade Policy Unit provides knowledge and support to countries seeking to use economic and trade policy as vehicles for achieving the SDGs and their Paris Agreement commitments through research, capacity building and policy advisory services.

UNEP Environment and Trade Hub

The Environment and Trade Hub is a capacity-building mechanism offering policy advice on sustainable trade and investment. The Hub aims to identify, assess and inform sustainable trade opportunities that arise from a green economy transition, and to tackle related risks and challenges. It assists countries in using trade as an engine towards a green economy, by means of research, advisory services, and capacity building.

UNEP-FI

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 400 banks, insurers and investors. For almost 30 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 convenes the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. 230 banks have now joined this movement for change, leading the way towards a future in which the banking community makes the kind of positive contribution to people and the planet that society expects. These banks represent more than a third of the global banking industry. This is a journey of unprecedented scale and scope at a time when such ambition is urgently needed.

The consultant will support UNEP Environment and Trade Hub & UNEP FI’s work on developing a policy brief tackling sustainability considerations relating to trade and trade-related finance (with a specific focus on export credit, and sustainable finance solutions). The consultant is expected to draw connections between the dynamics of trade and trade/export -related finance and the sustainability transformation of the global economy. This effort should build on the recent engagement of UNEP and UNEP FI with the International Trade Center (ITC)).The consultant will help identify the pathways through which these instruments can contribute to the ongoing efforts of addressing and alleviating the three planetary crises: Climate, Nature and Pollution crises, including through focus on key areas such as agriculture and food systems, key commodity trade value chains, extractives and resource efficiency, among other topics.

The specific focus of the work will look into the role of trade and trade and export finance in influencing the trade / export value chains with a focus on key sectors e.g. energy, infrastructure, transport, manufacturing (such as textiles), etc., mapping what has been done by whom already in the sustainable trade/ export finance space, and which gaps still remain. A concrete dive into the connections between UNEP FI initiatives such as the PRB to current banking actions on sustainability and how they impact ECA approaches to sustainability would also be included as a specific case-study to be showcased in the report. Likewise, the consultant is required to map linkages to the Environment and Trade Hub’s, (and related UNEP’s Units, if needed) ongoing work on sustainability initiatives at the multilateral level (green Aid for Trade at the WTO), and regional levels (on RTAs).

Finally, to identify possible actions in the way forward (to be complemented by internal Environment and Trade Hub / UNEP FI input), the consultant will identify 2/ 3 sectors where the greatest impact and value added can be achieved.

These activities require the support of expertise in international trade finance and sustainability. The UNEP Environment and Trade Hub or UNEP FI currently does not have the required technical expertise in-house to deliver these activities, and therefore requires the service of a consultant.

Under the direction and supervision of the Head of the Economic and Trade Policy Unit, the objectives of the consultancy assignment are as follows:

Desk research and publication of policy brief:

- Desk research successfully conducted latest by the 20 November 2021
- Policy brief outline prepared and ready for revision and adjustments / UNEP Environment and Trade Hub & UNEP FI input by the week of the end of November 202.
- Inputs from UNEP E&T Hub and FI incorporated in a coherent manner and any revisions incorporated by mid-December.
- Final draft of the report submitted before the end of December 2021.

Deliverables:
• Output 1: A summary report of desktop research on trade / trade & export-related finance on sustainability approaches, including all relevant “hard data” outlined, and concrete inputs to be extracted map for delivery. (30 November 2021)
• Output 2: Final policy brief/ report: Deliver the final draft of the “policy brief” ready for review, editing and publication structured along the areas outlined below. (31 December 2021)

Specific tasks and responsibilities per outputs

Output 1: A summary report of desktop research on trade / trade & export-related finance on sustainability approaches, including all relevant “hard data” outlined, and concrete inputs to be extracted for delivery (30 November 2021), covering the following:

• A report of initial interviews with relevant stakeholders (if needed) successfully conducted
• An outline (5 pages minimum) of the report complemented by a 1-page structure showcasing the final concrete sections that the report will be structured along, based on:
o Connections between the dynamics of trade and trade / export -related finance and the sustainability transformation of the global economy (including the three planetary crises).
o The role of trade and trade financing or export credit in influencing the trade value chains, focusing on different types of trade finance such as export credit agencies.
o Identification of 2 / 3 sectors where the greatest impact and value added can be achieved.
• Areas where UNEP / UNEP FI input is required to complement with content clearly marked.


Output 2: –Final policy brief/ report: Deliver the final draft of the “policy brief” ready for review, editing and publication structured along the following areas (31 December 2021), covering:

• Connections between the dynamics of trade and trade / export -related finance and the sustainability transformation of the global economy (including the three planetary crises).
• The role of trade and trade financing or export credit in influencing the trade value chains, focusing on different types of trade finance such as export credit agencies, EXIM banks, export duty refunding schemes, etc., how they engage different parts of the trade value chain in general).
• Mapping of what has been done by whom already in the sustainable trade / export finance space (OECD common approaches, sustainability actions by banks, including PRB, EU Taxonomy…), and which gaps still remain such as norms, data, tracking, verification, etc.
Undertaking a concrete dive into the connections between UNEP FI initiatives such as the PRB to current banking / ECA approaches to sustainability would also be included as a specific case-study to be showcased in the report.
• Identification of possible actions in the way forward, including the identification of 2 / 3 sectors where the greatest impact and value added can be achieved.
• Areas where UNEP / UNEP FI input is required to complement with content clearly marked
• Provision of other input as requested e.g. to relevant meetings.

The consultant is under the overall supervision of the Head of the Environment and Trade Policy Unit. Final deliverables shall also be approved by Fulai Sheng. The consultant will also take substantive directions and inputs from the Membership Manager, UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: A good theoretical and practical understanding of national trade and investment policy frameworks and, the interface of trade finance and green economic transformation. An extensive existing network in the international trade finance community is an advantage. The consultant should have the ability to manage relationships and drive collaboration. Strong analytical skills and ability to build good working relationships at all levels is desirable. The consultant should have excellent listening and communications skills, with experience in presenting in undertaking research.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in trade, finance, environment, international relations, business or a related discipline.

Experience: 5 years of experience on trade / export finance with work experience related to sustainable finance, international trade policy, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and connected matters. The candidate should have successfully undertaken finance transactions structuring, successfully conducted research on sustainability and export finance matters, especially looking into international connections and interlinkages.

For this position, fluency in English 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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