Job Opening

Posting Title: International consultant in climate finance and carbon markets
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 26 April 2022 - 15 May 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-179762-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

A national strategy to access REDD+ results-based financing from both market and non-market sources, including notably the main jurisdictional-level REDD+ programmes.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

3 months

Duties and Responsibilities

UNEP and UN-REDD programme
The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading lobal 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". Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UN Environment's Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

UNEP is a key partner in the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), which builds on the combined convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and UN Environment Programme.

The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally led REDD+ processes to curb deforestation and forest degradation, which accounts for approximately 17 per cent of carbon emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. It is now clear that stabilizing global average temperature rise within two degrees Celsius will be practically impossible to achieve without reducing emissions from the forest sector (above added as part of standard introduction).

REDD+ in Uganda
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa with valuable forest resources which are an essential foundation for the country's current and future livelihood and growth. However, the country is facing deforestation and forest degradation: in 2015, forest cover was estimated at 12 % of the total land area, or 2.42 million hectares. Woodlands are the dominant forest type accounting for about 62% of the forest area, tropical high forests for 21% and plantations for 17%. Local forest users consume a wide variety of forest products in all five forests. Some of these uses are legal; a great number are not. Significantly, the intensity and pattern of these consumptive uses vary across the forests. For instance, demand for fuelwood and charcoal is high and expected to increase with 6% annually due to population growth and migration from rural to urban areas. Especially demand for charcoal is a main driver of forest degradation and non-sustainable management of the remaining forests. A survey from 2006 (The Uganda Household Survey 2006) indicates that on average, a household uses 150 kg (2–3 m3) of firewood per month (58.9% of the firewood used for cooking is obtained from natural forests and trees growing naturally on farm and 34.6% is collected from plantation/planted forests).

The national REDD+ mechanism started in 2008 with the purpose of halting deforestation when the country became a participant of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) after approval of the Forest Carbon Partnership Readiness Plan Idea Note (ER-PIN). Since 2013, with funding in form of grants from FCPF, Austria Development Cooperation (ADC), UN-REDD National Programme, and the Government of Uganda embarked on implementing a REDD+ Readiness phase. The objective of this phase was to contribute to a design of a socially and environmentally viable national strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, a national forest reference emission level for deforestation (FREL), National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) including a Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) component, a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) and Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) and Safeguards Information System (SIS). These grants were also utilized to analyze a National Feedback and Grievances Redress Mechanism (FGRM) for REDD+, propose Benefits Sharing Arrangements (BSA) for REDD+, Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement and Feedback in Readiness Process, support to the Coordination and Monitoring of REDD+ Readiness Process. Uganda was also able to mobilize support for preparing its Forest Investment Plan as a roadmap for priority activities for implementation of Uganda’s REDD+ Strategy.

Thanks to this, Uganda has now several elements of the Warsaw Framework in place. In addition, the country is the first country in Africa to report on REDD+ results of 8,071,231 tCO2e to the UNFCCC for the period 2015-2017. Through its NDC, Uganda has pledged to conditionally reduce its GHG emissions by 22% by 2030 compared to a business-as-usual scenario, focusing specifically on three sectors – energy, forestry and wetlands which collectively produce 77.3 MtCO2e annually. Uganda has made a commitment to restore 2.5 million hectares of deforested and degraded land, as a pledge towards the Bonn Challenge.

Carbon and RBPs context
The market for carbon offsets is expected to grow 15-fold by 2030 and 100-fold by 2050. Over USD 1billion has already been committed by governments and corporates to purchase carbon credits with a floor price of USD 10 per ton. The price that a number of EU countries are setting is much higher (Austria is targeting EUR 30 per ton). Over 700 of the largest companies have also made net zero commitments. If corporate entities choose to purchase carbon credits through the LEAF programme, they will be required to adopt Science Based Targets (SBTs) for achievement of reducing operational and supply chain CO2 emissions. Commitment to achieving SBTs aligns corporate climate change strategy within the global mitigation hierarchy and 2-degree alignment is ensured. Moreover, the risk of greenwashing is minimized (UNEP, 2022).

The UN-REDD programme does not promote project-level REDD+ (Gold Standard, VCS, CCBS, Plan Vivo, etc.), only jurisdictional-level REDD+ programmes such as the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART), the REDD+ Environmental and Excellence Standard (TREES) or the Jurisdictional Nested REDD+ (JNR) That being said, little work has been done to understand the opportunities that these carbon markets offer to countries like Uganda without mentioning appetite of carbon investors in these countries. This knowledge is becoming crucial to (i) guide national counterparts to align to markets requirements, (ii) to provide an efficient technical assistance and (iii) to generate bankable emissions reductions at the jurisdictional level. Such approach will create more incentives for communities towards forest protection and restoration and provide alternative livelihoods.

Duties and responsibilities
This position is homebased under the supervision of UN-REDD Programme Management Officer, the consultant will produce a strategy for Uganda to access REDD+ results-based financing from both market and non-market sources, including notably the Green Climate Fund and LEAF, amongst others. More specifically, he/she will perform the following tasks:
-Identify potential LEAF buyers for the country,
-Assess buyers’ appetite to invest in Uganda though consultations, meetings or other identified processes,
-Assess country’s concerns to access these carbon markets, scale of implementation (national or jurisdictional), key factors needed (economic, socio-political, technological) and barriers to be overcame to generate emissions reductions and contribute to the forests and land-use targets of Uganda’s NDC,
-Identify key areas of institutional capacity (for example, national registry, legal title, safeguards requirements) that Uganda should focus on to access different kinds of RBPs,
-Identify clear technical contributions from the UN-REDD programme and UNEP based on their respective signature and offering.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: An advanced-level university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in environmental
sciences or related field is required, a postgraduate specialization in a field directly related to REDD+ is an advantage,
Experience: At least 5 years of professional experience in climate finance, forest carbon market and non-market standards and transactions, finance mapping or investment frameworks is required.
-Experience in resource mobilization, or economic integration, or development planning is an advantage,
-Professional experience acquired within international organizations, national agencies and donor agencies is an advantage with analytical capacity in a donor-funded environment,
-Knowledge and experience of REDD+ stakeholders of Uganda is an advantage.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this assignment, fluency in spoken and written English is required.

No Fee


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