Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Consultant (NZIA Project Coordinator)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 11 October 2022 - 14 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-192886-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ultimate result of the services is the effective and efficient delivery, implementation and coordination of the NZIA global work programme, in line with the PSI’s purpose to better understand, prevent and reduce environmental, social and governance risks, and better coordinate opportunities to provide quality and reliable risk protection; and the PSI’s vision of a risk aware world, where the insurance industry is trusted and plays its full role in enabling a healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable society.

Work Location

Geneva, Switzerland (remote working arrangement possible)

Expected duration

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 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.

Established in 1972, 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 UN
system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Founded in 1992, UNEP’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilise private sector finance for sustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 450 members—banks, insurers, and investors—and over 100 supporting institutions—to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impacts.

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs, UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues such as climate change, nature loss, pollution, social inequality and human rights. The PSI is a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies on a healthy planet in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Climate Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights.

The PSI is the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the global insurance industry. Since its launch at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), more than 200 organisations have joined the PSI, including insurers representing about one-third of world premium and USD 15 trillion in assets under management, and the most extensive global network of insurance and stakeholder organisations committed to addressing sustainability challenges. The PSI also hosts the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance and the Sustainable Insurance Facility of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers (V20).

The Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) was established by a group of leading insurance and reinsurance companies under the auspices of the PSI, and was launched at the G20 Climate Summit in July 2021. The eight founding members of the NZIA are building on their climate leadership as investors through their membership in the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) established in 2019, thereby demonstrating the key role of the insurance industry as risk managers, insurers and investors in supporting the transition to a net-zero economy.

NZIA members have committed to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, in order to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. They will individually set science-based intermediate targets every five years in line with a 1.5°C net-zero transition pathway and independently report on their progress publicly and annually.

The NZIA aims to grow its membership by promoting its goals to insurance market participants worldwide. As of February 2022, the NZIA membership has expanded to over 20 leading insurers and reinsurers from across the globe. The NZIA is part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the UN Race to Zero campaign.

NZIA global work programme

The Consultant will coordinate the implementation of the NZIA global work programme currently comprising the following priority work streams:

a. Metrics

The NZIA is collaborating with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) to develop the first global standard to measure and disclose emissions associated to insurance underwriting portfolios—or “insurance-associated emissions”. This pioneering global standard is scheduled to be launched in 2022.

b. Targets

NZIA members are required to publish their respective first interim, science-based 5-year targets within 6 months after the publication of an NZIA Target-Setting Protocol, which will build on the NZIA’s work with PCAF to develop a global standard to measure insurance- associated emissions. The NZIA Target-Setting Protocol will be developed over a period of 18 months from the time the NZIA was launched (i.e. July 2021) and is scheduled to be published by January 2023.

c. Engagement

The engagement work stream will raise awareness of net-zero insurance and engage on the technical details of this novel concept. Such engagement will span the insurance industry value chain, insurance industry initiatives and associations, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), regulators and policymakers, broader industry, civil society, academia, and other key stakeholders.

d. Life & Health insurance

This work stream will explore approaches that can be taken in the context of life & health insurance business to support the transition to a net-zero economy.

e. Antitrust

This work stream ensures compliance with antitrust/competition laws, including consulting appropriate regulatory authorities.

f. Communications

This work stream develops and implements the NZIA’s internal and external communications strategy.

Coordination and implementation of the NZIA global work programme, including the following main output expectations and performance indicators:

• Development of commitments, metrics, methodologies and targets to achieve net-zero insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios
• Development and publication of a PCAF global standard to measure and disclose insurance-associated emissions
• Development and publication of the NZIA Target-Setting Protocol
• Development, delivery and promotion of publications that raise awareness of and build knowledge on net-zero insurance across lines of business, economic sectors and geographies
• Well-coordinated, timely and effective communications on key outputs of NZIA projects and activities, including through global announcements and press releases, media articles and social media channels
• At least 10 NZIA events and webinars promoting net-zero insurance thinking and practices
• At least 40 NZIA members from across the globe representing at least 20% of world premium

Specific tasks and responsibilities:
• Interact regularly (via e-mails, conference calls and in-person meetings) with the PSI and wider UNEP FI Secretariat, the NZIA Chair and NZIA members to coordinate and communicate NZIA activities
• Develop and coordinate priority work streams under the NZIA global work programme, including the work streams on Metrics & Targets, Engagement, Net-Zero Insurance White Paper, Life & Health, Antitrust, Communications, and other work streams that may be established in the future
• Organise and prepare for NZIA Steering Group meetings and All-Members meetings and coordinate meeting outcomes and action points
• Prepare for, coordinate, communicate and participate in NZIA leadership and knowledge-sharing events and webinars on best and emerging practices on net-zero insurance strategies, approaches and implementation
• Grow the NZIA membership by supporting the recruitment of NZIA signatory companies and supporting institutions across developing and developed countries, and onboarding them to the NZIA, PSI and UNEP FI
• Liaise with UNEP FI colleagues managing the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) and Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), UNEP FI regional coordinators (i.e. Africa & Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, North America), and colleagues managing the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the UN Race to Zero campaign, on NZIA activities and financial sector-wide activities on net-zero
• Engage with the insurance industry value chain, insurance industry initiatives and associations, GFANZ, regulators and policymakers, broader industry, civil society, academia, and other key stakeholders to raise awareness of net-zero insurance and engage on the technical details of this novel concept
• Ensure well-coordinate, timely and effective implementation and delivery of the NZIA communications strategy to maximise NZIA impact and visibility, in coordination with the NZIA Communications Officer and NZIA members, as well as NZAOA and NZBA Communications Managers and the UNEP FI, GFANZ and UN Race to Zero communications teams
• Coordinate, proofread and edit NZIA publications and communications materials

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP FI and report directly to the PSI Programme Leader. The Consultant will liaise with the wider PSI/UNEP FI team, particularly the PSI Programme Supervisor, the NZIA Project Manager and the NZIA Communications Officer (and other NZIA roles in the future); and with the NZIA Chair and NZIA members. The Consultant will also liaise with UNEP FI colleagues managing the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) and Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), the UNEP FI communications team, UNEP FI regional coordinators, and colleagues managing the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the UN Race to Zero campaign.

Qualifications/special skills

Education: An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in risk management, insurance, finance, business, economics, environment, sustainable development, international relations, law or related fields.

A first-level university degree in combination of at least nine (9) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Professional experience: At least seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in the insurance industry and/or relevant organisations, including proven knowledge and expertise in developing and promoting sustainable insurance strategies, approaches, products and solutions (encompassing insurance ESG risk management, net-zero insurance, insurance for low/zero-emission technologies, climate and disaster risk insurance, inclusive insurance and/or nature-positive insurance). Prior experience at the international level in programme management and stakeholder engagement is required. Prior experience in responsible investment is advantageous.

Special knowledge and skills : Proven knowledge and expertise in the insurance and reinsurance underwriting process—ideally spanning both non-life (property & casualty) and life & health lines of business—along with deep understanding of climate change science and mitigation; greenhouse gas accounting and reporting; and decarbonization and net-zero strategies, approaches, methodologies, metrics and targets.

The Consultant should have strong analytical and project management skills, excellent spoken and written communication skills; should be able to carry out manage multiple projects and activities in an organised and timely manner; and should be a team player and able to communicate and interact effectively with various internal and external stakeholders in the private and public sectors, across multiple cultural and professional backgrounds.

Ability to cope with heavy workloads, time pressure and multiple and diverse projects and activities in an effective, organized and timely manner. Attention to detail is essential. The Consultant is expected to work independently and must have significant latitude to be self-directed and highly motivated.

Languages

Language: English is the working language of the PSI and UNEP FI Secretariat, so oral and written fluency in English is required. Fluency in other languages, particularly 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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