Lead Climate Finance Specialist, Washington, United States

Organization: The World Bank

Country: United States

City: Washington

Office: World Bank in Washington, United States

Closing date: Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Lead Climate Finance Specialist

Job #: req20668

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Environment

Grade: GH

Term Duration: 4 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Washington, DC,United States

Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s): Spanish

Closing Date: 1/25/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org

The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice (ENB GP) forms part of the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group. We provide expertise, technical assistance, and financing to help low- and middle-income countries manage land, sea, and freshwater natural resources in a sustainable way to help create jobs, improve livelihoods, enhance ecosystem services, decrease pollution, meet national climate change mitigation and adaptation targets, manage the low-carbon transition, and increase resilience to climate change. Over 350 ENB staff working across the globe help set developing countries on a clean and green growth trajectory for low-carbon, resilient economies and for healthy communities.

ENB has five key business lines consisting of lending and non-lending services in: (1) Forests, Landscapes and Biodiversity; (2) Blue Economy; (3) Pollution Management, Environmental Health, and Circular Economy; (4) Environmental Economics, Policies, and Institutions; and (5) Environmental Risk Management.

ENB has three broad and distinct functions:

Provide clients with lending and non-lending services to support the GP’s key business lines;
Support effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development, in part through the implementation of the World Bank’s environmental risk management policies;
Work closely with other sectors to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.

LCR ENB Context The SLCEN unit covers the entire Latin America and Caribbean Region (LCR) and comprises around 50 staff, with half based in Country Offices and the remainder based in Washington DC. It is a core part of the Sustainable Development (SD) Department in LCR with over 200 staff. SLCEN is headed by a Practice Manager and the SD Department is headed by a Regional Director, both based in Washington.

The SLCEN program currently comprises 10 pipeline projects and 27 active projects with a total commitment of $3.25 billion, including IPF and DPF operations, covering fisheries, forestry, the blue economy, climate change, natural resource management, and pollution management, as well as a large program of more than 30 active pieces of advisory services and analytics (ASA), including all the Climate and Country Development Reports (CCDRs) in the region. The SLCEN team also manages the LAC Climate Task Force, which provide advice on WBG own account climate finance (climate co-benefits) and on Paris Alignment of IBRD and IDA finance to all teams in LAC across all Global Practices. Finally, SLCEN provides environmental risk management functions, including implementation of the Environment and Social Framework (ESF), for the World Bank’s pipeline and portfolio in LCR.

The Position Internationally recruited staff are remunerated on an international pay scale and are expected to move to assignments in different regions approximately every four years. The Lead Climate Finance Specialist will report to the Practice Manager, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy (ENB) for LCR based in Washington DC.

Overall Responsibilities:

The Lead Climate Finance Specialist will lead SLCEN’s engagement on the development and application of climate and nature finance (also known as green or blue finance) in LCR and will be the team’s interface with the ENB global unit, the wider WBG including OPCS and Treasury, and other development partners, including other MDBs and the private sector, to innovate and scale up public and private investment, including via long-term finance, for climate and nature. The Lead Specialist will also support the Practice Manager in driving and managing the overall growing climate business, including strategy and new operations, as well as: CCDRs and other ASAs; the Climate Task Force, including MDB climate finance reporting and Paris Alignment; dissemination and annual reporting, including to the Board, on the LCR Climate Roadmap and on LCR’s contribution to the WBG Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP); and working with ECR on a sustained climate communications campaign for the region. She/he will work according to an annual work plan agreed with the SLCEN Practice Manager, adjusted periodically as necessary. The work program is envisaged as mixed between supporting LCR specifically and up to a maximum of 50 percent of time allocated to cross-support to the ENB global unit on climate and nature finance globally.

Program Strategy and Coordination:

Provide intellectual leadership in the LCR region and the ENB Global Practice globally for climate and nature finance innovation and private capital mobilization in support of the WBG’s vision for scaling up action on global challenges, including nature, the environment, and climate change.

Engage with internal and external stakeholders to develop an operational program of lending and ASA to scale up climate and nature finance in LCR, leveraging WBG resources to mobilize public and private sources of investment.

Lead stakeholder dialogue with other MDBs, NGOs, partnerships, and the Private Sector on innovative climate and nature finance mechanisms for LCR, building synergies with initiatives across the WBG, and representing LCR ENB and LCR SD at various climate and nature finance workshops and events, including Climate and Biodiversity COPs.

Support the Practice Manager in driving and managing the growing climate business in the region, including the monitoring and reporting of CCDRs and the Task Force, as well as engagement with senior management and with clients on new climate operations and related innovations and new products.

Lead ENB/SD inputs on green finance for country strategy products (SCDs, CPFs, PLRs) in the LCR region, and drive the provision of climate change inputs for the same products working with others in SLCEN and SD.

Develop partnerships to encourage institutional investor groups in LCR to access climate and nature investment opportunities, and to foster new opportunities working with the WBG.

Collaborate and join forces with other Practice Groups in LAC, notably with EFI and especially with FCI, to maximize impact and engage in joint products in the area of climate and nature finance, as well as with other parts of the WBG, including OPCS, Treasury, IFC and MIGA.


Lead the integration of climate and nature finance into SLCEN investment operations, including from the private sector, from new WBG sources of finance, and from the Scaling Climate Action by Lowering Emissions (SCALE) facility, and provide guidance on the same to other LCR teams.

Provide leadership in LCR for piloting and scaling up innovative climate and nature finance instruments using IDA and IBRD resources and co-financing partnerships to promote and reward action and results, sharing experience globally across ENB.

Lead and contribute to the preparation and implementation of LCR operations to mobilize and leverage climate and nature finance, including through the identification of prior actions to be incorporated into development policy financing (DPF).


Lead and contribute to cutting edge ASA both in LCR and with the ENB global unit on policies and mechanisms to mobilize climate and nature finance, to strengthen carbon markets, and to integrate green finance into country development plans, including through the mobilization of resources from the Climate Support Facility (CSF) and the Partnership for Market Implementation Facility (PMI).

Collaborate with other WBG units to undertake research and pilots on innovative structures and financial instruments, such as linking carbon and biodiversity credits to capital markets, and the use of new structures to provide financing for protected areas and other natural assets - and share lessons globally.

Lead and contribute to analytical and advisory support for the development of sustainable investment instruments linked to capital markets, including through advice on labeled and sustainability-linked bond issuance.

Collaborate with teams from other practices on policies, regulations, and investment structures, including the development of green taxonomies and expanded ESG integration, to advance sector policies and attract long-term finance to emerging markets for sustainable development projects.

Collaborate with regional FCI teams, the IFC Climate Business Department, and the Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN) Secretariat on initiatives aimed at greening the financial sector, and engage with government, industry, and financial sector regulators on reforms to achieve this.

Selection Criteria

Do you meet the following selection criteria? If so, we encourage you to apply:

Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in a field related to climate and nature finance specifically or in a technical field such as finance, economics, public administration, or another field relevant to climate change and climate finance.

At least 12 years of full-time professional experience, with the most recent years being directly engaged in climate and/or nature finance, in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility. Extensive experience in operations in the WBG or another Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) at a senior level.

Experience with carbon and/or nature finance instruments and dialogue with external stakeholders on the mobilization of green finance, with a track record of new product development and implementation.

Track record of leading and building high performing teams in the timely delivery of complex and multisector operations related to climate and nature finance, including experience with various instruments, such as lending, trust funds, and grants.

Experience of leading large teams to deliver complex ASAs, technical assistance, and capacity building activities, especially as related to climate and nature finance.

Experience related to climate and nature finance with diverse clients - including the private sector, such as institutional investors and associations of firms - in a range of countries of different income levels and economies.

Reputation as a well-respected global expert based on evidence of support to task teams, mentoring teams on complex problems, providing advice to senior management, and representing the Bank or other MDB in policy dialogue with clients, the private sector, and external audiences on technical matters related to climate and/or nature finance.

Working level Spanish, with a commitment to advance to fluency in the first 6 months in the position, is required.

Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, including a proven record of successfully delivering polished presentations at the international level.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

Previous experience working in LCR with an understanding of the region’s institutional and political context, and prior exposure to the region’s environment and/or climate policy challenges.

Advanced Spanish language skills.

Portuguese language skills.

Climate Finance Competencies:

Demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of a broad range of climate and nature finance tools, approaches and issues related to mobilizing/deploying climate and nature finance through projects or through mainstreaming into financial portfolios/regulation/policy;
Demonstrates a comprehensive track record of developing and implementing an integrated strategy for country and/or regional approaches to prioritizing and deploying climate and nature finance;
Demonstrates comprehensive abilities and experience with conceptualizing and structuring financing solutions for specific climate adaptation/mitigation and nature conservation projects;
Demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the establishment and operation of carbon and green finance markets;
Demonstrates comprehensive technical knowledge of approaches to policies and systems for carbon pricing and/or taxation, and payments for environmental services.

Integrative Skills:

Demonstrates ability to lead work that integrates divergent views in a coherent project/ program/ strategy, including across sectors and the WBG;
Advises project/country teams on how to integrate corporate/regional priorities into specific projects/strategies;
Brings together multi-disciplinary perspectives for effective solutions;
Ensures that the project team considers corporate commitments (e.g., MFD, climate, gender, citizen, engagement) in its approach.

Behavioral Competencies:

Delivers results for clients: proactively addresses clients‘ stated and unstated needs.

Collaborates within teams and across boundaries: collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.

Creates, applies and shares knowledge: applies knowledge across the WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.

Makes smart decisions: interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.

Leads and innovates: develops innovative solutions.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, they will retain their Regular or Open-Ended appointment. Current Bank Group Staff members will be offered a 4-year assignment.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

Link to the organization’s job posting: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1672944267434