Climate Finance Specialist, Panama City, Panama

Organization: United Nations Environment Programme

Country: Panama

City: Panama City, Panama

Office: UNEP Panama

Closing date: Thursday, 11 March 2021

Posting Title: Climate Finance Specialist

Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme

Duty Station: PANAMA CITY

Posting Period: 19 February 2021 - 11 March 2021

Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-150412-Consultant

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

Under the supervision of UNEP’s Programme Management Officer and Climate Change Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, the consultant will support the Climate Change Unit building and managing a climate-finance related project portfolio and initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean focused mainly on (1) improving the contribution of finance to low emissions and resilient development and; (2) strengthening financial stability by incorporating climate factors into investment decision making.

The overall objective of this position is to provide strategic advice on climate finance issues to help Latin American and Caribbean countries increase investments to comply with the Paris Agreement. To help with the development of policy and projects that bridge the climate finance gap, science, policy responses and investment. Also, to support the unit to formulate proposals that entail innovative financing approaches that harness the power of disruptive technologies and business models, as well as boosting the potential of partnership structures to bring together governments, development banks and the private sector, all with the aim of implementing the region’s priority climate actions.

Responsibilities and Activities

The consultant shall perform the following activities:

Align financial sector strategies with the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

Identification, conceptualization, formulation, and implementation of a bankable climate-finance related project portfolio in Latin America and the Caribbean within the scope of the UN Environment Programme’s climate change Programme of Work and strategy for private sector engagement. 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.)

Design climate-related fund programming to leverage other sources of public and private finance.

Designing financing instruments across public and private finance to deliver climate related outcomes.

Working with the private sector to educate investors in climate change impacts to enable private sector capital to flow to Paris Agreement related investment.

Articulating financing strategy and frameworks for climate change plans including in support of Nationally Determined Contributions

Development of top-down financing needs assessment at the macro-level to inform discussions with planning and finance authorities to identify the financing envelope.

Provide strategic insights on latest developments in climate finance, covering private sector and financial actors, innovations in business models and financial products.

Research and engagement creation of partnerships with relevant national, regional, and global stakeholders.

Contribute to strategic UNEP internal and external policy position papers, business plans, communication products and internal briefing notes.

Provide inputs/ contribute to the development of funding proposals.

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.

Providing technical support for project development processes.

Support in the organization of financial sector engagement workshops.

Support the implementation of capacity building measures and policies. Mapping financial actors in a country.

Knowledge in managing physical and transition risks in the banking sector.

Identify and support new and existing programming and partnership opportunities and initiatives. Existing initiatives can include, but are not limited to SDG Impact, the Climate Investment Platform, and UNEP collaborations on financial instruments. Partners can include, but are not limited to: multilateral development banks, vertical funds (GEF, GCF), bilateral donors, private sector (corporates, investors), and others.

Work Location


Expected duration

12 Months

Duties and


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’s Latin America and the Caribbean Office, 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).

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.

Local, national, or transnational financing, which may be drawn from public, private, and alternative sources of financing is critical to addressing climate change because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions, notably in sectors that emit large quantities of greenhouse gases. The Climate Change Unit is looking for improving its capacities to support private sector financial institutions including Banks, Investors, and Insurers to understand and mitigate climate risks, seize the commercial opportunities from climate action, and ultimately take all necessary measures to fully align portfolios with the mitigation and adaptation objectives of the Paris Agreement.

For these reasons, the Climate Change Unit of UNEP’s Latin America and the Caribbean Office is looking for a Climate Finance Specialist. She/he will support the Programme Management Officer in building a climate-finance related project portfolio and initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean. The main goal of the assignment is to harness the financial sector in countries of the region to considerably scale up private sector financing for climate mitigation and adaptation projects in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets.

He/She will be supervised by the Programme Management Officer and the Climate Change Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. The consultant will work at UNEP’s Latin America and the Caribbean Office, located in Panama City, Panama and is expected to work 40 hours per week, from Monday to Friday, full time.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:

Master’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, or related fields.


At least 5 years‘ proven experience in the financial sector and/or in management consulting to financial institutions

Tags banking client relationship management climate change climate finance climate risk development banks financial institutions financial instruments financial stability greenhouse gases latin america management consulting needs assessment programme management project management sdgs sustainable development sustainable development goals technical cooperation

At least 3 years‘ proven experience in climate finance

As the role requires a knowledge of the Climate business area as well as knowledge of financial institutions and their operations, the successful candidate should have a combination of educational qualifications and work experience that address these two needs.

Strategic vision, strong technical and analytical capabilities on climate change finance

Strong project design, project management, sales, and client relationship management skills, including the ability to develop and maintain mutually beneficial stakeholder relationships and ensure timely and appropriate follow-up.

Good knowledge of the financial sector of the region and developed ability to identify and engage relevant stakeholders, both public and private.

Awareness/familiarity with donor and bilateral programs in climate finance

Highly motivated, energetic, team player with excellent interpersonal skills and client service skills

Ability to identify and implement innovative solutions and challenge the status quo to build the business.

Ability to build long-term engagement with clients and credibility by demonstrating knowledge of their business, sector, and culture, and maintain an ongoing dialogue on their business needs, operations, and strategies as well as opportunities for strategically aligned business deals.

Sound business judgment and problem solving, negotiation and commercial skills.

Proven ability to engage with high-level officials from governments, financial institutions, and the private sector.

Superior quantitative skills a plus, oral, and written communication skills with the ability to write for both policy and technical audiences.


Fluent ability to communicate in English and Spanish both written and spoken.


Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards.

Mature judgment and initiative.

Absolute commitment to confidentiality.

Ability to work independently and under pressure; take the initiative to judge priorities and organize work accordingly.

Intermediate knowledge and ability to use the set of standard applications (MS Office).

Strong interpersonal skills and highly developed cultural sensitivity to communicate with all levels of staff and external clients, both orally and in writing.

Excellent organizational skills, ability to perform multiple tasks and attention to detail, initiative and independence.

Ability to innovate, combining methodological approaches and data from various levels and disciplines including economics, finance, development, and mitigation.