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UNDP is looking for a Climate and Energy Specialist

UNDP is looking for a Climate and Energy Specialist


  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, finance, climate policy or related disciplines. OR
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in economics, finance, climate policy or related disciplines, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.

UNDP is looking for a Climate and Energy Specialist

Nature, Climate, and Energy Team

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at Headquarter (HQ), Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

The newly established UNDP Climate Hub will be the arrowhead of UNDP’s commitment to climate action. The Climate Hub will build on UNDP’s existing over USD 4 billion country-level climate portfolio on Climate Change Policies and Strategies, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change mitigation, Climate and Forests, covering over 142 countries, as well as on UNDP’s Nature portfolio, UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub and UNDP’s Digital offer. The UNDP Climate Hub will be responsible for: thought leadership on Climate and be the custodian of UNDP policy positions on Climate; Strategy and vision formulation; Pipeline development in coordination with the other hubs and the Vertical Fund Programme Support, Oversight and Compliance Unit; provision of integrated policy and programme support to Country Offices; Global engagement, advocacy in collaboration with BERA; Integration across thematic areas; Strategic Partnerships development and resource mobilization; Lead and Support global flagship initiatives and partnerships on Climate; Serve as focal point with relevant UN coordination mechanisms and Conventions (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change); Cross-organization knowledge and learning; and Innovation.

Energy is one of UNDP’s six signature solutions – alongside poverty and inequality, governance, resilience, environment, and gender equality – to support countries towards three directions of change: structural transformation, leaving no one behind and resilience.

As per UNDP’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the first objective of UNDP is increasing energy access for those furthest behind. By speeding up investment in distributed renewable energy solutions, especially for those hardest to reach and in crisis contexts, it aims to increase access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people.  Another key objective of UNDP’s strategy is to help align and unlock public and private finance for sustainable development, working towards a goal of $1 trillion to achieve the SDGs by the end of 2025.

The central purpose of the Rome Centre is to ensure the effective implementation and further development of the strategic partnership between UNDP and the government of Italy across the objectives of sustainable development and in doing so advancing the broader partnership between UNDP and G7 and G20 countries.

The initial phase of the activities of the Rome Centre will run from 2022 to 2025 gearing up – among other initiatives – to the Italian Presidency of the G7 in 2024. The goals of the partnership are linked to 2030 as a crucial year for global climate and sustainability goals. The Rome Centre in this initial phase will focus on the critical policy areas of climate action, youth engagement and energy for development. These objectives are pursued through the effective implementation of two initial main programmes: the Italy-UNDP Energy Partnership and Youth4Climate

  • The Italy-UNDP Energy Partnership aims at identifying investment action opportunities that will be converted to country specific investment plans for scaling up energy access and contributing to the energy transition. The investment plans will enable both public and private financing to be deployed towards bankable initiatives.
  • Youth4Climate supports the implementation of youth-led and youth-inclusive solutions to environmental and climate challenges, both financially and through capacity development, for a more innovative and inclusive impact on the ground.

The Rome Centre also has a broader mandate to engage with the Italian ecosystem as a whole, which involves close collaboration with key actors in the public and private sector, with the aim to effectively mobilize financial resources for development objectives. To guarantee the effective implementation of the Rome Centre’s workplan, and indeed to ensure the strategic and long term impact of both its programmes, the Centre will develop broader strategic partnerships and reinforce the overall collaboration with Italy and other meaningful partners

Delivering on its programmes, the Rome Centre will provide support to the international cooperation efforts of Italy and it will support UNDP’s global policy initiatives. Recognizing that change will be disruptive, UNDP will work to ensure that such transitions are just, and that their impact on vulnerable people is understood and duly mitigated.

Position Purpose:

One of the Centre’s main objectives is to support partner countries’ development goals in increase access to sustainable energy and boost energy transition. It will achieve this by focusing its resources on (i) the selection of projects through a network of in country experts and a centralised knowledge base at the Rome Centre, developing and spreading best practice across partner countries and projects (ii) de-risking the most promising projects by providing initial funding out of its own budget and then supporting the projects in raising further funds from a network of international funding sources.
The Centre is looking for an energy and climate specialist with expertise in economics and finance, to support in the development and the implementation of this pipeline, from the evaluation phase to the securing of long term financial footing as well as ensuring the management of the operations

For the selection step, the Centre will develop a project evaluation framework based on a combination of narrow financial criteria as well external economies. The framework will be developed and implemented in close collaboration with the country partners and broader funding sources, and the Rome Centre will serve as a knowledge base for a growing list of in-country experts.

For the portfolio of selected projects staff at the Centre will design tailored project finance plans. The projects will be strategically funded and presented to a wide array of funding partners.
In addition to taking a leading role in the two processes above, the incumbent will work closely with the coordinator of the Rome Centre in the refinement of the Centre’s strategic vision and ensuring the further development of the objectives of the Centre in relation to the donor priorities and overarching development objectives of UNDP.

Institutional Arrangement:

  • The Climate and Energy Specialist will be provided office space at the UNDP Rome Centre in Rome, Italy;
  • The Climate and Energy Specialist will report to, and be directly supervised by the Coordinator of the UNDP Rome centre for climate action and energy transition.
  • The Climate and Energy Specialist will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment.
  • Given the global scope of the work to be undertaken during this assignment, the Climate and Energy Specialist is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability taking into consideration different time zones.
  • Given the scope of the work the Climate and Energy Specialist is expected to travel to HQ and in the country offices

Duties and Responsibilities

Leading the economic evaluation of the Centre’s portfolio:

  • Develop and operationalize a cost-benefit evaluation framework for the selection of climate and energy projects that incorporates metrics on sustainability and increasing energy access. Ensure that this framework aligns with the goals of the Italy-UNDP Energy Partnership
  • Manage the financial planning for the project portfolio, ensuring feasibility assessments are investment grade and support the decision to allocate funds managed by the Centre.
  • Establish and maintain robust networks with DFIs/IFIs, climate finance funds, bilateral partners, and private debt and equity sources. Reflect these partners’ funding criteria in the internal project selection and funding strategy. Support selected projects in raising grant, debt, and equity financing from these partners.
  • Foster a collaborative environment within the Centre and between the Centre and partner institutions. This involves both internal teams, like in-country experts and the wider UNDP, and external entities, like funding sources and other stakeholders.
  • Provide strategic inputs and advice to technical and policy teams for the development and implementation of the Rome Centre’s objectives, aligning with UNDP’s Strategic Offer.
  • Support regular meetings with donors, partners, and other key stakeholders, assisting with organization, reporting, and maintaining strong relationships.
  • Prepare and deliver regular trainings to staff at the Rome Centre and technical teams on the evolving project evaluation and selection framework.
  • Prepare and deliver regular presentation to senior management, and external audiences such as public webinars, country engagements, and partner events.

Technical Services to Country Offices and Member Countries:

  • Oversee the coordination of the Services to be deployed by the Rome centre for climate action and energy transition;
  • Support the assessment, management and monitoring of country requests, including providing technical inputs and contribute to the Task Teams to be established in response to the requests;
  • Coordinate as necessary with relevant UNDP regional offices;
  • Support the internal coordination within UNDP;
  • Contribute, and coordinate as requested, substantive inputs for energy programming outputs (e.g. work-plans, project documents, inception missions, workshops, technical working papers, methodologies);
  • Provides substantive inputs for HQ policy briefs/position papers prepared in collaboration with other practices that address links between energy and development concerns;
  • Prepare and provide technical inputs to strategic documents, briefing notes and speeches;
  • Support the quality assurance of the Rome centre for climate action and energy transition services;
  • Support the coordination of UNDP’s work to assist countries, regional bureaus, and regional hubs in designing energy policies and projects to close the energy access gap and foster low carbon growth in the context of their sustainable development efforts.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization

DEADLINE: 25 October 2023

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