UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Consultant – Senior Legal Counsel

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Legal Affairs
  • Deadline:


UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Consultant – Senior Legal Counsel
Job Opening
Job Opening ID: 225129
Job Network : Economic, Social and Development
Job Family : ENV
Category and Level : Consultants, CON
Duty Station : GENEVA
Department/Office : United Nations Environment Programme
Date Posted : Jan 10, 2024
Deadline : Jan 16, 2024

Result of Service
Ultimate result of services

Through these services the consultant, in conjunction with input from a junior consultant and intern should be able to deliver the following. In summary:

1) Legal Risks Working Group – greenwashing outputs (23/24)

• 5 sessions as part of the greenwashing workstream (via the Legal Risks Working Group), including all underlying legal/regulatory/market research and engagement with participants) and linked outputs, including presentation decks/concluding notes (from member-based discussion sessions)

• For a potential greenwashing publication with EY (currently subject to ongoing discussion with EY, and dependent upon agreement with them):
 An overview proposal for a greenwashing best practices publication
 Completed TOR
 Project plan with deliverables and timings
 Liaison with members to approve the above
 Questionnaire

2) For the output on leading market practices on the assessment and use of customer transition plans (CTP) output:

• An updated project plan agreed with NZBA/PRB (as required)
• 1-2 sessions in connection with the customer transition plan use and assessment
• Outreach with members on the (internally agreed) CTP survey contents
• Integration of member comments in the CTP survey and finalization of the survey for circulation to members
• Interviews with member firms, using the finalized CTP questionnaire and internal reviews of firms’ latest TCFD reports
• A slide deck with initial interview findings from those interviews conducted

3) Regulatory advisory work:
• Advise on/contribute to 2 stock decks for the climate team :
 1 on the ISSB global standard
• Review and contribute through corrections and comments to the Policy Team’s policy papers and arrange/co-ordinate 6 monthly meetings with the policy team
• Review and correct approximately 20-24 newsletters (regulatory component – these are produced on a weekly basis)
• Build greenwashing internal collateral e.g. case tracker, supervisory/regulatory developments, with a view to developing training for PRB in the next contract (scheduled for H2, 24)

4) Legal Risks Working Group 24/25
• Develop a high-level overview of the 24/25 programme (assuming member firms want this) and outputs following engagement with this group, and internally with the policy team
Work Location
Working remotely
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.

UNEP FI needs a consultant to:
1) Oversee the Legal Risks Working Group of UNEP FI’s Climate Risk Programme (greenwashing sessions and outputs) and development of its 24/25 programme, if the group wishes to have this
2) Develop an output on leading market practices on the use and assessment of customer transition plans
3) Advise on/contribute to outputs connected to regulation and standards: namely a) regulatory/standard slides detailed below, b) approximately 20-24 regulatory newsletters, c)policy-team papers, and d) also co-ordinate and host 6 policy team meetings

1. Objective area 1: Briefing and training – in depth – UNEP FI member banks that are new to UNEP FI’s TCFD/climate/biodiversity/social work on the various methodologies developed – and the insights won – in Phases 1 and 2 2.

2. Objective area 2: Further developing and enhancing – in partnership with relevant expert stakeholders – a number of the various elements within the ‘toolkit’ that banks currently have at their disposal to carry out forward-looking risk and opportunity assessments, potentially including: i) climate-related scenarios, ii) client data, iii) modelling approaches, iv) legal guidance, etc.

3. Objective area 3: Strengthening and institutionalizing links and dialogue – and synchronizing agendas – with relevant platforms, processes, and efforts, particularly those involving financial regulatory organisations (e.g. the Network for Greening the Financial System – NGFS, the EU Action Plan), client industry associations, the proceedings of the TCFD itself, and investor efforts (through the Principles for Responsible Investment, or UNEP FI’s own investor piloting of the TCFD).

Specific tasks and responsibilities

1.For greenwashing working group – sessions and outputs

• Host all webinars (5-6) /arrange for member chairs to do this
• Undertake research and session planning underpinning sessions
• Prepare notes from member discussions for Working Group Sessions
• For the greenwashing output, subject to engagement of EY, prepare TOR, outline of proposal, project plan, questionnaire, and engage as required with the group

2.For Customer Transition Plan outputs

• Conduct interviews with banks, review their latest TCFD reports, and produce interview write-ups and tabular entries for each bank
• Produce updated project plan
• Prepare and host 1-2 CTP sessions
• Draft presentation deck with preliminary findings from interviews

3.For Legal Risks WG 24/25
• Liaise with banks in the working group about key priorities
• Draft Working Group proposals for 24/25, assuming the group wants this

4.For Regulatory advisory and policy work
• Contribute and advise on developing ISSB and CSRD deck
• Input and advice and correction on policy papers and co-ordinate climate policy hub
• Review of circa 24 newsletters (regulatory component)

5. Other team responsibilities
• Supervision and quarterly reviews of junior consultant and intern/interns

Outputs and Deliverables:

• Delivery of greenwashing sessions detailed above and corresponding slides and notes detailed above
• Delivery of outputs relating to good practices greenwashing publication (subject to the engagement of EY) – i.e., proposal outline, project plan, TOR, questionnaire and liaison with group
• For the customer transition plan work:
o 1-2 sessions detailed above
o Write-ups of each interview/TCFD report review with banks and tabular entries
o Slide deck on initial CTP interview findings
• For the Legal Risks WG, draft WG proposals for 24/25, assuming the group wants this

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of Head of UNEP FI and report directly to Programme Management Officer, UNEP FI and work closely with to the lead of climate risk.
Qualifications/special skills
Education: Master’s degree in banking law and financial regulation, and also Master’s in human rights, and UK qualified lawyer with practicing certificate. A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 9 years of relevant experience.

Work Experience: At least 7 years of experience in the environmental/social non-profit sector, the financial services sector, commercial consulting, or conducted applied academic research on sustainable finance. This experience should be relevant for examining climate risks and regulation, climate policies, and the role of the financial sector in climate action.
Languages: English is the working language of UNEP FI. English is mandatory for this consultancy. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

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