UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Consultant – Net Zero Sector Pathways & Engagement

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Climate and Disaster Resilience, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Deadline:


Job Opening
Job Opening ID: 224694
Job Network : Economic, Social and Development
Job Family : Environmental Affairs
Category and Level : Consultants, CON
Duty Station : GENEVA
Department/Office : United Nations Environment Programme
Date Posted : Dec 27, 2023
Deadline : Jan 17, 2024

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 for banks.

– 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 establishes 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 UNEP-convened Alliances, and their partners – in partnership and coordination with GFANZ – are 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
9 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 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.

In September 2019, at the Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit the United Nations-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZ-AOA) was launched. This international collaboration of asset owners was convened by UNEP and the Principles for Responsible Investment in order to respond to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement Article 2.1.c and enable financial flows to support the transition to net-zero CO2 emissions economies by 2050.

UNEP FI, together with the Principles for Responsible Investment, has been mandated to serve as Secretariat for the Alliance. The Alliance relies on scientific information to help investors in target setting and corporate and policymaker engagement. The Alliance requires additional support to ensure investors have accurate interpretation of highly complex scientific modeling.

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.

Both the NZ-AOA and the NZBA 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 in need to thoroughly map, where necessary 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 transition plans, 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 for banks establish a list of priority sectors for which such pathways are needed, as follows:

Agriculture; Aluminium; Cement; Coal; Real estate; Iron and steel; Oil and gas; Power generation and Transport

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.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

The consultant will:

i. Develop & implement a consolidated strategy for the UN-convened net-zero financial Alliances on sector decarbonisation pathways

ii. Support the coordination and orchestration of all sector work of the UN-convened net-zero financial Alliances

iii. Ensure the coordination with GFANZ’s relevant work, and the engagement and participation of the UN-convened net-zero financial Alliances in third-party platforms and processes of relevance

iv. Ensure coordination, consistency, and cross-fertilization with scientific efforts to model sectoral decarbonization pathways

v. Ensure effective management and development of the sector work-tracks of the UN-convened NZ-AOA and NZBA.

vi. Ensure timely and effective delivery of sectoral outputs and deliverables of in particular the NZBA, but also the NZ AOA.


i. A comprehensive and consolidate mapping/landscape, of all existing platforms and processes of relevance to sector decarbonization pathways, pertaining to all priority sectors as established by UNEP FI’s guidelines on climate-related target-setting by financial institutions.

ii. A streamlined strategy and approach, for the UN-convened Alliances, detailing their roles and contributions in the establishment of, and agreement on, granular-enough, science-based pathways for all priority sectors.

iii. Delivery, publication and socialization of NZBA’s sector briefs, in partnership and coordination with GFANZ. Working with members through working groups and liaising closely with co-leads of those groups.

iv. Research outputs and briefing papers as required to support AOA’s development and formulation of its sectoral Positions.

v. Successful mobilization of net-zero financial institution staff, with key sectoral expertise, onto existing platforms and existing processes developing sectoral pathways.

vi. An established communications and coordination mechanism, and channels, to ensure ongoing coordination and orchestration of the sectoral work of the various net-zero Alliances.

vii. Incubation and preparation of the second set of NZBA sector briefings.

viii. Research outputs and briefing papers as required to support AOA’s development and formulation of its Positions.

ix. Ongoing coordination meetings and calls as needed of: the NZBA and NZ-AOA Sector Workstreams.

x. Ongoing participation in the coordination meetings and calls as needed of GFANZ’s relevant Workstream.

xi. Ongoing participation and engagement in third-party platforms and processes focused on sector decarbonization pathways.

xii. Ongoing coordination and communication with scientific providers of economic and sectoral decarbonization models.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head UNEP FI and will be reporting directly to the Programme Officer for Climate Change.
Qualifications/special skills
Academic background – 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 7 years of relevant experience.

Experience – At least 5 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.
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.

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