Job title: Consultant (part time & contract) – Technical Lead for the development of agriculture transition Criteria (livestock)
Location: Fully remote within a five-hour time difference of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), with a reliable internet connection.
Closing Date: 16 March 2023
Starting date: Immediate
Hours: Approximately 36 days in total to be worked through 2023 (project to be completed by January 2024)
About the Climate Bonds Initiative
Climate Bonds is an investor-focused not-for-profit organization whose goal is to promote large-scale investments through green bonds and other debt instruments to accelerate a global transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
Activating the mainstream debt capital markets to finance and refinance climate-aligned projects and assets is critical to achieving international climate goals, and robust labelling of green bonds is a key requirement for that mainstream participation. Trust in the green label and transparency to the underlying assets are essential for this market to reach scale but investor capacity to assess green credentials is limited. Therefore, Climate Bonds created its Standard & Certification Scheme, which aims to provide the green bond market with the trust and assurance that it needs to achieve scale. Up to November 2022, around US$240bn worth of issuances have been successfully certified against the CBS and issued in the market.
The Standard encompasses general requirements for all certified assets under issuance, plus specific Sector Criteria. Sector Criteria establish specific benchmarks that assets and projects in different sectors need to meet to be compliant with a 1.5°C decarbonisation scenario, deliver a climate resilient economy, and thus be eligible for certification.
The Climate Bonds Standard and associated Sector Criteria development and approval process is in line with the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL) standard. It involves an international consultative process in which a wide range of investors, issuers, corporates and technical experts from academia, international institutions and NGOs participate through Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and Industry Working Groups (IWGs). This process is supervised and approved by a Standards Board, which reports to Climate Bonds’ Governors, and whose members represent US$34 trillion of assets under management.
The Technical Lead plays a pivotal role in the Working Groups, acting as the principal technical expert, aiding Climate Bonds with the facilitation and coordination. While the TWG and IWG will provide robust and expert knowledge of the technical and practical aspects of Criteria development, in the form of regular meetings, the Technical Lead will perform research and convening activities to support these discussions, in conjunction with the Climate Bonds team. This will include drafting the Background Paper, Criteria Documents and Power-point presentations for Working Group discussion.
Description of the Service
The consultant is expected to work remotely from January to December 2023 on a part time basis to help deliver Sector Criteria and associated documents. The following will be involved:
- Assessing the latest scientific literature to determine a pathway(s) that defines the Paris aligned trajectory/ trajectories for livestock production,
- setting boundaries of the Criteria – i.e., what are the most material emissions in agriculture, and what types of companies are included? For example, will these Criteria be limited to companies which produce livestock?
- evaluating the metrics, benchmarks, and/or pathways (for example, SBTi’s pathway for the FLAG sector) that already exist for decarbonising agriculture, and whether they can be leveraged or adopted as Climate Bonds sector Criteria,
- detailing the solutions (including technologies) for decarbonising the sector to ensure this aligns with the chosen pathway(s),
- evaluating the most critical climate risks and climate resilience opportunities to agriculture production companies and
- identifying additional safeguards and targets for other agri-food system goals, including land use change, biodiversity, water use and quality, food loss and waste, circularity and just transition.
All of these activities are to be undertaken in consultation and/or discussion with the Technical Working Group (TWG).
In the TWG meetings themselves, the Technical Lead shall provide technical insight to inform and shape the discussions, as is also done by other TWG members. Climate Bonds will set up and run the meetings and take minutes.
In addition to the main meetings of the TWG and IWG, it is also expected that supplementary meetings may be needed to focus on specific issues raised in TWG meetings or address concerns of individuals. This might be with the group member who raised the issue or just with Climate Bonds.
The resulting documentation of this work will be two Criteria documents (crops and livestock) that detail the activities companies can implement in order to become certified. It is supported by a Background Paper that details the discussions the TWG had and why (or why not) criteria were set. The Technical Lead will co-author these documents with Climate Bonds, helping to develop and finalise them. The TWG will review final documents prior to public consultation. Post-public consultation, the Technical Lead and Climate Bonds will respond to all the issues raised and put any new issues for consideration to the TWG, editing the Criteria where necessary. Existing examples of Criteria Documents and Background Papers will be provided to the consultant to ensure consistency with other Criteria.
Terms of reference will be provided to selected applicants
The consultant should outline their skills and what qualifies them to take up this role, as well as their availability. This includes professional competencies and skillsets specific to technical knowledge of sustainability goals within crop and livestock production agriculture.
Experience and competencies
- Minimum 10 years professional experience in sustainable agriculture,
- In depth understanding of agriculture, including livestock production, and globally important agricultural commodity supply chains,
- Proven experience leading research-driven initiatives in the agriculture-sustainability space, and a track record of producing impactful research materials,
- Relevant and broad expertise on key transition (to net zero) issues in agriculture, not limited to climate but also biodiversity, just transition, water and others,
- Proven ability to confidently analyse, discuss and communicate the above issues,
- Highly collaborative with an ability to drive group discussions and focus them into tangible and usable outcomes, building consensus,
- Demonstrated excellence in soft skills around communication, stakeholder management, meeting facilitation and moderation,
- Proven ability to solve complex problems and develop innovative solutions,
- Excellent writing skills in English, and strong presentation skills and
- Self-motivated and able to work nimbly and generously over phone/video conferencing, time zones, etc.
- PhD in a topic related to sustainable agriculture,
- Experience developing or defining transition pathways and targets for agriculture,
- Good knowledge of crop and livestock production systems
- Good understanding of sustainable finance and/or sustainability standards,
- Demonstrable experience convening or coordinating expert groups,
- Experience of working in a consultancy setting and
- Research contacts and expertise tailored to particular regions or issues.
Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.