Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Climate Review Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 31 May 2022 - 20 June 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-182761-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The Climate Review Expert will be responsible for undertaking an in-depth analysis and review of the climate targets set by NZBA signatories to determine alignment with the requirements set out in the Commitment Statement and Guidelines for Climate Target Setting and preparing for and delivering feedback & support meetings to NZBA signatories. The successful candidate will provide regular updates to the Banking and NZBA Teams about trends, challenges and good practices identified through the feedback and support process. They will join a small team of Sustainable Banking Experts and work together to deliver these feedback and support meetings.

Work Location

Geneva, Switzerland (remote working possible)

Expected duration

The expected duration is 12 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.

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 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’s Banking Team is responsible for the initiative’s work with its over 270 member banks in more than 60 countries around the world. This includes overseeing and supporting the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB). At least 80 of the signatories to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) are PRB signatories.

UNEP FI provides the Secretariat for the NZBA, which is composed of both PRB and non-PRB signatories. Together, the NZBA Secretariat and Banking Team are responsible for implementing the accountability mechanisms detailed in the NZBA governance document.

About the Principles for Responsible Banking:

On 22nd September 2019, UNEP FI member banks representing USD 47 trillion and with that over a third of the global banking industry officially signed and launched the Principles for Responsible Banking together with UN Secretary General Guterres. The Principles for Responsible Banking guide the change towards a new, sustainable global banking industry that takes on a key role in helping society to achieve its goals for a sustainable future. With these Principles, banks commit to strategically align their business with and scale up their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate. The Principles are supported by a strong implementation framework that defines clear accountabilities and requires each bank to set, publish and work towards ambitious targets and report publicly on their positive and negative impacts and progress in implementing their commitments. This includes targets set under the NZBA commitment. Banks that are not in line with their commitments can be removed from the list of signatories.

About the Net-Zero Banking Alliance:

The industry-led, UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) brings together banks worldwide representing approximately 40% of global banking assets, which are committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050. Combining near-term action with accountability, this ambitious commitment sees signatory banks setting an intermediate target for 2030 or sooner, using robust, science-based guidelines. The Alliance reinforces, accelerates and supports the implementation of decarbonisation strategies, providing an internationally coherent framework and guidelines in which to operate, supported by peer-learning from pioneering banks. It recognises the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions.

In order to ensure effective implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking and NZBA commitment, UNEP FI will provide an annual review, feedback & support meeting (mostly virtually) between the UNEP FI Secretariat and each signatory bank, following each bank’s reporting.

In addition to ensuring each bank is making progress at an adequate speed and providing feedback and support, the outcomes and learnings from these meetings will feed into the broader peer learning and support structure all banks benefit from as well as the collective progress reports of both the Principles and NZBA.

UNEP FI is looking for a climate finance expert to support the feedback & support process. Working together with the team of review experts within the Banking Team, the climate change expert will be responsible for reviewing climate targets set by NZBA signatories (both PRB and non-PRB signatories)

Tasks and responsibilities would include:

• Meet (mostly virtually) once a year with individual banks to review and discuss their climate targets and provide feedback & support on their next steps for fulfilling their commitments. Meetings will be held together with UNEP FI’s respective regional coordinators, with whom the Climate Review Expert is expected to collaborate closely.
• Based on the review and in coordination with the Banking Team Lead, Climate Team Lead, and NZBA focal point, identify cases where banks need to take additional action to be in line with their commitments. Where shortcomings are not addressed adequately, in coordination with the Banking Team Lead, Climate Team Lead, and NZBA focal point, refer the case to UNEP FI’s banking governance body and/or the NZBA governance body, as relevant.
• Identify case studies and good practices to feed into the systematic peer learning program, which is designed to provide support to signatories.
• Provide inputs into the biennial PRB collective progress report and NZBA progress report.
• Coordinate with colleagues in the Banking and NZBA teams to share information and support related processes.
• Share knowledge and experience and help develop the sustainable banking expertise of other team members.

The Climate Review Expert leads engagements with NZBA signatories (both PRB and non-PRB) to provide feedback & support for their effective implementation of their commitments. In addition to ensuring each bank is making progress at an adequate speed and providing feedback and support, the outcomes and learnings from these meetings feed into the broader peer learning and support structure all banks benefit from as well as into collective progress reports.

Outputs:

• Undertake an individual in-depth analysis and review the climate targets set by NZBA signatories to determine alignment with the requirements set out in the Commitment Statement and Guidelines for Climate Target Setting.
• Conduct meetings (mostly virtually) once a year with each signatory bank to review and discuss their progress and provide feedback and support for their next implementation steps. Produce a written report for each bank. Meetings will be held together with UNEP FI’s respective regional coordinator, with whom all Review Experts will be expected to collaborate closely.
• Based on the individual reviews and in coordination with the Banking and NZBA Teams, identifying cases where banks need to take additional action to be line with their commitments. Where shortcomings are not addressed adequately, in coordination with the Banking Team Lead and Climate Team Lead, refer the case to the Banking Board and/or NZBA SG.
• Identifying case studies and good practices to feed into the systematic peer learning program.
• Sharing knowledge and experience to help develop the sustainable banking expertise of team members.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

• Review targets submitted by signatory banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each signatory bank. Register results of the assessment for internal use. Submit a report detailing the trends, good practices, and outcomes of the review and engagements with signatories. Submit inputs into the draft NZBA reporting template.

• Review targets submitted by signatory banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each signatory bank. Register results of the assessment for internal use. Submit a report detailing the trends, good practices, and outcomes of the review and engagements with signatories.

• Review targets submitted by signatory banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each signatory bank. Register results of the assessment for internal use. Submit a report detailing the trends, good practices, and outcomes of the review and engagements with signatories. Submit inputs into the NZBA progress report.

• Review targets submitted by signatory banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each signatory bank. Register results of the assessment for internal use. Submit a report detailing the trends, good practices, and outcomes of the review and engagements with signatories, together with recommendations for consideration for how the review assessment framework can be improved.

• Review targets submitted by signatory banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each signatory bank. Provide the Banking and NZBA Teams with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Register results of the assessment for internal use. Submit a report detailing the trends, good practices, and outcomes of the review and engagements with signatories, together with recommendations for consideration for how the review assessment framework can be improved.

The consultant will report to the Head of UNEP Finance Initiative, who is the overall supervisor, and report directly to the Banking Team Lead.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The consultant should have proven expertise in climate, review of scientific literature, sector pathway assessments, and climate scenarios, ideally pertaining to climate change mitigation and sectoral decarbonization. Must have a deep understanding of climate change-related and climate finance topics. Should have enough experience and expertise in climate change and banking to be viewed as a credible expert by peers and the banks whose progress will be reviewed, and to whom the consultant will provide feedback and support.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international affairs, economics, environmental studies, economics, finance, environment, sustainability, business, or a related field. A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has nine (9) years of relevant experience.

Experience: Minimum of seven (7) years’ experience in climate change analysis or advisory in the financial sector. Should be well acquainted with and have been directly involved in implementing international sustainable banking best practices and standards. Ideally, also have previous experience in advisory/consulting roles.

Must be able to quickly understand, synthesize and analyze substantial amounts of information. Should be reliable and deliver consistently high quality within agreed timeframes. Must follow through on commitments towards others, especially towards the constituency/clients. Should quickly gain and maintain people’s trust. Must be a team player and have interest in and derive joy from collaborating with others. As such, must also enjoy sharing knowledge and expertise and helping more junior colleagues develop.

Language: English is required, as this is UNEP FI’s working language. Beyond English, fluency in other languages, especially other official UN languages, is highly desirable.

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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