Posting Title : Adaptation Finance Specialist
Department / Office : United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station : PANAMA CITY
Posting Period : 17 March 2021 - 30 March 2021
Job Opening Number : 21-United Nations Environment Programme-152077-Consultant
United Nations Core Values : Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Result of Service
The main objective of the position of Adaptation Finance Specialist is to support the adaptation team of the Climate Change Unit in mainstreaming adaptation into investment decisions and planning of public and private stakeholders and contribute to enhance the finance flowing towards adaptation at regional, national and local levels.
The Adaptation Finance Specialist will perform the following tasks : 1. Identify opportunities to enhance adaptation finance at regional, national and local levels, considering the adaptation team focus and reach.
2. Align financial sector strategies with the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans and NbS
3. Design and prepare adaptation projects or project components for piloting or scaling-up adaptation finance at national and local level, including micro-financing, challenge funds for sustainable developments and insurances.
This portfolio shall integrate projects, initiatives, technical cooperation, etc. within the sphere of climate finance (climate risk, green investments, bonds, taxonomies, etc.
and across all stakeholders, such as banks, insurances, investors, regulators, decision makers, climate funds, etc.).
4. Provide support to the adaptation team in the estimation of costs and benefits and investment needs of climate change adaptation and concrete measures at national and regional level
5. Provide support to the adaptation team in advancing regional understanding on the economics of adaptation, ecosystem-based services and NbS.
6. Contribute to design new and innovative financial instruments for leveraging public and private finance, with a special focus on NbS for adaptation.
7. Support the implementation of the financial components or activities of ongoing projects.
8. Identify funding options for climate change adaptation that consider financing through innovative financial mechanisms that include public budgets and private-public partnerships, as well as international cooperation opportunities.
9. Identify new relevant financial partners for the adaptation portfolio and maintain the relationship and conversations with the current and new financial partners.
10. Define institutional arrangements that facilitate the administrative coordination of current and future climate change adaptation funding.
11. Provide technical assistance to microfinance institutions in order to increase the uptake of investment in climate change adaptation interventions.
12. Provide technical assistance to the insurance sector and to adaptation planning institutions in order to establish parametric insurance products in the national adaptation planning and in projects.
13. Development of top-down financing needs assessment at the macro-level to inform discussions with planning and finance authorities to identify the financing envelope.
14. Advice partner financial institutions and economic sectors on the relation between climate risks and sustainable finance, and to promote the uptake of climate information and risks among them.
15. Work with the private sector to educate investors in climate change impacts to enable private sector capital to flow to Paris Agreement related investment.
16. Foster engagement with finance ministries, central banks, regional, national and local banks to mainstream climate risks into policies and planning.
17. Liaise with the climate finance team to jointly work with UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEPFI) to replicate the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TFCD) global initiatives on climate risks (physical and transition risks) in the region with the aim of promoting the integration of climate risk disclosure into financial decision-making and capital allocation.
18. Take stock and analyze climate change adaptation cos-benefit information and identify existing information gaps in the countries.
19. Provide technical advice to support countries in the region to undertake legal and regulatory reforms and develop frameworks that integrate laws and regulation which are 'fit for purpose' to de-risk, unlock, mobilise, leverage and mainstream public and private climate finance.
20. Ensure adaptation finance as a cross-cutting element in the adaptation portfolio.
21. Provide strategic insights on latest developments in climate finance, covering private sector and financial actors, innovations in business models and financial products.
22. Provide advice on financial and economic issues to the adaptation team and its portfolio and support the team in the understanding on the financial and economic aspects of adaptation.
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 UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC), located in Panama City, works closely with the 33 countries of the region and its activities are integrated into the Medium-Term Strategy and the Programme of Work approved by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
The office works towards the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new Paris Agreement and the priority actions defined in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and National Adaptation Plans (NAP) of the region.
In terms of supporting countries in the region attain the global commitments signed within the framework of the Paris Agreement, the Latin America and the Caribbean UNEP Sub-programme on Climate Change aims at strengthening the ability of countries to move towards climate-resilient and low emission strategies for sustainable development and human well-being.
In this framework, the UNEP Sub-programme on Climate Change, through its Climate Change Unit, leads and supports several initiatives oriented at designing, promoting and implementing innovative mitigation and adaptation solutions at the national and subnational level, and strengthening the transparency framework of the countries.
The expected accomplishment regarding climate change adaptation is that adaptation approaches, including the Nature based Solutions with an ecosystem-based approach, are implemented and integrated into key sectoral and national development strategies to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts.
Furthermore, the UNEP's Sub-programme on Climate Change is also committed to ensure that cross-cutting issues such as gender equity and women empowerment are effectively integrated in the development of its tasks to guarantee an equitable development in line with its adaptation objectives.
It is estimated that the capital needed to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development worldwide amounts to USD 5-7 trillion a year.
Given the scale of capital needed, it is of vital importance to implement market mechanisms to reflect the potential benefits of sustainable investments and attract interest from potential investors.
The international community has made clear that the private sector - including financial institutions - plays a fundamental role in the realization of the 2030 Agenda and the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement in the years to come.
UNEP's Climate Change Adaptation Finance Gap Report (2020) estimates that the annual costs of adaptation in developing countries are USD 70 billion.
This figure is expected to reach USD 140-300 billion in 2030 and USD 280-500 billion in 2050. Particularly, according to Global Center on Adaptation's State and Trends in Adaptation Report (2020), in the Latin America and Caribbean region, climate events are the greatest threat to development gains.
By 2050, it is estimated that 17 million people (2.6% of the total population) could be displaced, and 2.6% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) could be lost due to climate events.
Public and private finance for adaptation must be stepped up urgently, along with faster implementation. Nature-based solutions (NbS) need to receive more attention, as low-cost options that reduce climate risks, restore and protect biodiversity and bring benefits for communities and economies.
Private investment in adaptation must be spurred to put the region on track to meet its goals. The Climate Change Unit is looking for improving its capacities to support private sector financial institutions, including banks, investors and insurers to understand, identify, measure and manage climate risks as systemic financial risks, seize the investment opportunities from climate action, and ultimately take all necessary measures to fully align portfolios with the mitigation and adaptation objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The adaptation team of the Climate Change Unit is implementing a portfolio of projects and continuously developing a pipeline of new projects, both for adaptation planning and for implementation of concrete measures, in the three subregions of the region : Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
and donors and financing institutions such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Adaptation Fund (AF) or the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).
The adaptation team has an ongoing portfolio and pipeline focused in NbS. Among its successful experiences, adaptation financing at a local scale stands out, through UNEP's innovative Microfinance for Ecosystem based Adaptation (MEbA) programme, and through medium and large projects for scaling up adaptation financing and microfinancing.
In this context, UNEP's Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is recruiting an Adaptation Finance Specialist to provide support to the adaptation team of the Climate Change Unit to mainstream adaptation into investment decisions and planning at different levels across the public and private sectors, and increase financial flows towards adaptation.
The Specialist will work in coordination with the climate finance team to support the Climate Change Unit in building a climate-finance related project portfolio and initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The incumbent will be supervised by the Adaptation Programme Officer of UNEP's Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and will work at the UNEP Regional Office in Panama, from Monday to Friday, 40 hours per week, 8 hours per day.
Qualifications / special skills
Academic Qualifications : - Master's degree in engineering, economics, finance, environmental or climate science economics, environmental and social sciences, climate change, development, international relations, or a closely related field.
Experience : - A minimum of 7 years of relevant work experience in the fields of climate change, climate finance, sustainable investment, civil engineering, environment or sustainable development, with a focus on adaptation or resilience.
Good knowledge of the financial sector of the region and developed ability to identify and engage relevant stakeholders, both public and private is an asset.
Demonstrated experience in the integration of environmental and / or adaptation to climate change actions into national planning and sectoral budget schemes is an asset.
Demonstrated knowledge of Nature based Solutions for adaptation is an asset. Experience of successfully delivering complex multi-stakeholder projects to time and within budget
Language : - Fluency in Spanish and English is required.
Skills : - Ability to facilitate technical discussions and participatory processes with multiple stakeholders in multicultural environments.
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.