Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Consultant – Net Zero Sector Pathways & Engagement Lead (Hard-to-abate)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 March 2023 - 27 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-205016-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The UNEP-convened Alliances, and their partners, in partnership and coordination with GFANZ, are able to thoroughly map, where needed derive/develop, and agree on science-based, forward looking sector decarbonization pathways, particularly for the list of high priority sectors as established in the UNEP FI Guidelines for climate-related target setting.

- To that effect, the UNEP-convened Alliances are able to follow, participate, engage in, and help shape, relevant platforms and processes that are focused on the establishment and development of science-based sectoral decarbonization pathways. They are able to understand & interpret what the scientific consensus, as compiled via the work of bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), establishes as appropriate sector decarbonization; while at the same time being able to understand what leading corporate and other practitioners in each sector deem technically feasible.

- The UN-convened NZBA continues to establish an effective, efficient and competent work-stream on sectors, which acts and unfolds in concert with the sector-focused work of the other UN-convened Net-Zero Alliances, and GFANZ more widely.

- The UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) continues to work on sector specific content including position papers and other outputs to support investors committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 – consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C.

- The UNEP-convened Alliances, and their partners - in partnership and coordination with GFANZ -
continue to be able to maintain high levels of scientific rigor, ambition, transparency, integrity and credibility in the choice, development, promotion and use of sectoral decarbonization pathways.

Work Location

Geneva (Remote working is possible)

Expected duration

6 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 450 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 promotes sustainable finance and helps the financial industry align with and contribute to the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

The industry-led, UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) brings together banks worldwide representing over 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 decarbonization strategies, providing an internationally coherent framework and guidelines in which to operate, supported by peer-learning from pioneering banks. It recognizes the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions.

The UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) is a member-led initiative of institutional investors committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 – consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C.

Both the NZ-AOA, the NZBA, as well as the more recent UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, are
convened by UNEP & Partners and are embedded into the wider Global/Glasgow Financial Alliance for
Net Zero (GFANZ) and the United Nations’ Race to Zero.

The UNEP-convened Alliances, and their partners, are currently working to map, where needed derive/ develop, and agree on science-based, forward-looking sector decarbonization pathways. These pathways - and their robustness and credibility - are key given they inform and are the basis for FIs’ Intermediate targets, and as such establish the ultimate pace of implementation of both GFANZ and the UNEP-convened Net Zero Alliances. The UNEP FI Guidelines for Target-Setting establish a list of priority sectors for which such pathways are needed, as follows:

Current NZBA sectors:
• Hard-to-abate: Oil and gas, Steel (under the remit of this consultancy)
• Applied: Auto and Trucking, Power generation
• Other: Real estate

Upcoming sectors (tbd):
• Agriculture, Aluminium, Cement, Coal, and shipping and aviation

UNEP and Partners require a coordination function focused on sectoral pathways to support, streamline
and catalyse implementation of the above mentioned, sector-related activities and to ultimately achieve
the above key objectives of the various net-zero Alliances.

The consultant will divide his/her responsibilities and tasks between two Net-Zero Alliances, the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) and the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) with focus on hard-to-abate sectors. The tasks of the consultancy are comprised of the following:

- Ongoing coordination of regular meetings and calls as needed of: the NZBA and NZ-AOA Sector Workstreams,
- Ongoing development and coordination of the NZBA Sector White Papers on hard-to-abate sectors (Oil and gas, steel),
- Ongoing coordination of the NZBA Sector Hub across UNEPFI and other relevant stakeholders,
- Ongoing participation and engagement in third-party platforms and processes focused on sector decarbonization pathways under NZAOA,
- Ongoing coordination and communication with scientific providers of economic and sectoral
decarbonization models.

The consultant will provide leadership in the following tasks for UNEP FI’s NZBA and AOA Sector work:

i. Develop & implement a consolidated strategy for the UN-convened net-zero financial Alliances on sector decarbonisation pathway (Hard-to-abate)
ii. Support the coordination and orchestration of all sector work of the UN-convened net-zero financial Alliances
iii. Successful mobilization of net-zero financial institution staff, with key sectoral expertise, onto existing platforms and existing processes developing sectoral pathways.
iv. Ensure the coordination with GFANZ’s work on sectors, and the engagement and participation of the UN-convened net-zero financial Alliances in third-party platforms and processes of relevance
v. Ensure coordination, consistency, and cross-fertilization with scientific efforts to model sectoral decarbonization pathways
vi. Ensure effective management and delivery of sectoral outputs and deliverables by the sector work-tracks of the UN-convened NZ-AOA and NZBA.
vii. Ensure timely and effective delivery of sectoral outputs and deliverables of in particular white papers for the NZBA, but also the NZ AOA.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP FI and report directly to the UNEP FI Climate Change Lead. On an operational level, the consultant will report to the NZBA Lead Secretariat, and the Investment Lead, for the NZBA and NZAOA work areas respectively.

Qualifications/special skills

Education: A master’s degree in economics, finance, environmental studies, international relations, business administration or related fields. A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 9 years of relevant experience.

Professional Experience: At least 7 years of experience is required in international organisations, the financial services, private sector, academia or civil society examining the intersection between sustainable development - particularly climate change and greenhouse gas emissions – the underlying science and/or economic/financial decision-making.

Skills & Knowledge: The consultant should have proven expertise in climate/environmental science,
review of scientific literature, sector pathway assessments, ideally pertaining to climate change mitigation
and sectoral decarbonization; familiarity with the financial industry is a benefit. S/he should also have a
deep understanding of climate change related and climate financial topics


Languages: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Fluency in English is mandatory for this consultancy. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

No Fee


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