Climate Bonds Initiative
The Climate Bonds Initiative (Climate Bonds) is an international, investor-focused not-for-profit. It is the only organisation working solely on mobilising the $125+ trillion bond market for climate change solutions. Climate Bonds runs the Standard and Certification scheme for green bonds with criteria specific to each sector. This robust labelling of bonds prevents accusations of greenwashing and serves to allow Climate Bonds to be considered as a thought leader in the green definitions space. As a standard setting body, Climate Bonds sets the guiderails for investors to understand the climate risks of their investments and the assets and activities which are aligned with a 1.5°C warming scenario. To date, over $2.3 trillion worth of issuances are aligned with the Climate Bonds Green Bond Database Methodology.
The Sector Criteria establish specific benchmarks and pathways that assets and projects in different sectors need to meet to demonstrate compliance with the transition to net zero. The Sector Criteria are determined through an international consultative process in which a wide range of investors, issuers, corporates and technical experts from academia, international institutions and NGOs participate. The work is led by experts working collaboratively through Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and pragmatism is delivered by the supporting Industry Working Groups (IWGs).
Climate Bonds is looking to appoint a Technical Lead who will direct the work described in this document. The role will be supported by Climate Bonds’s Senior Sustainability Analyst.
The project consists of developing criteria for certifying bond investments (bonds and loans) in the Critical Raw Materials for the Energy Transition (CRM) sector. This will involve defining related assets and activities that are aligned with the transition to net zero and the Paris Accord.
To this end, Climate Bonds will convene a TWG, comprised of key experts of multiple nationalities from academia, international agencies, industry and NGOs. Discussions will include:
- Validating the proposed priority CRMs (copper, nickel and lithium) to cover with Climate Bonds criteria. The EU CRM Act (Annex II of the proposal) shall be used as basis, this includes 16 materials (counting each the platinum group and REE as one)
- Defining the battery limits that will be evaluated with criteria (i.e supply chain stages) identifying priority areas (e.g. based on emissions materiality) and define investable activities and assets.
- The metrics, thresholds, and methodologies that can demonstrate climate change, environmental and social benefits delivered by CRMs investments.
- Identify assets and activities that are aligned with keeping global warming to 1.5-degrees, while minimizing environmental and social impacts.
- Determine how those assets and activities should operate in order to be aligned as such.
- The most critical climate risks and opportunities (in terms of delivering mitigation and adaptation and resilience outcomes) facing CRMs projects and assets.
- Best practice approaches to mitigate these risks and leverage these opportunities through investments in this sector.
The working group will assess the ‘issues paper’ which includes the shortlisted materials and their associate impacts and value chains, as basis for the discussion and review. Ultimately, the TWG will evaluate the materials chosen to come up with scope recommendations, including process and site battery limits, core mineral or process ’groupings’ and/or priority list for future work.
The decarbonization roadmap developed by the IFC for Copper and Nickel includes technologies and other options to decouple the production of these materials from GHG emissions. This work can now act as an advanced starting point on this regard. However, there is still work to be done on defining an actual pathway to follow to decarbonize the supply chains of these materials while also preventing other major impacts.
Bond investments that meet these Criteria will be Climate-certified. This means they are aligned with the Paris Agreement, bringing multiple benefits from both an investor and issuer standpoint. To reach this point, the TWG determines the Criteria. An Industry Working Group (IWG) is consulted to gauge the usability of the criteria in the bond market. A 60-day period of public consultation is part of the development process.
Successfully published Criteria will be a global tool to identify climate-friendly CRMs investments and align the sector with the Paris Agreement.
Climate Bonds wishes to achieve the following objectives:
- Evaluate the proposed list of CRMs for the energy transition and agree on an achievable criteria scope.
- Identify, review and assess existing resources (e.g. standards), and credible pathways to determine its global application and thereby suitability for adoption as Climate Bonds Criteria.
- Understand the key boundaries and scope of criteria for investments into the CRMs sector across the whole value chain
- Set criteria for investments into CRMs, including requirements on mitigation (emissions reduction), abatement of applicable environmental and social impacts and adaptation & resilience (to climate change).
- Define the appropriate transition pathway that would enable the CRMs sector to be net zero by 2050.
The criteria development will comprise the following:
- Consolidating the latest scientific literature to determine a pathway that defines what is Paris-aligned with regards to CRMs supply chain in scope.
- Setting boundaries of the Criteria – i.e., what assets and activities are included, what processing methods are accepted, carbon content limits, safety constraints.
- Evaluating what standards or thresholds already exist for decarbonising and making sustainable the CRMs value chain, from production until final uses to decarbonise other sectors of the economy, and whether they can be leveraged as proxies or starting points for these global Criteria.
- Identify and assess existing Standards, metrics, benchmarks, that may be suitable (or adapted) as a proxy of final Sector Criteria to cover for other environmental and social impacts of CRMs value chains.
- Summary of solutions for decarbonising the sector including technology.
All of these to be undertaken in consultation and / or discussion with the Technical Working Group (TWG) and to be reviewed and checked for practicality with the Industry Working Group (IWG).
Detailed requirements of the work
First the Technical Lead will support the Analyst in the completion of the Issues Paper including:
- Chosen scope and the rationale behind it. The scope can be either a specific list of materials or a generic approach can be proposed (i.e. generic criteria that covers a group of materials).
- The supply chain stages that will be covered per material and justification, based on emissions materiality and other ESG impacts of the activities.
- A revised list of mitigation measures available for the scope chosen.
- A list of standards, benchmarks or initiatives that shall be leveraged as proxies for the Sector Criteria.
- Prepare the material for each discussion (i.e. slides, briefs) in collaboration with the analyst.
- Participate in the working groups meetings, synthesise previous discussions and address key issues raised by the TWG and IWG.
- Facilitate discussions within the working groups, when appropriate.
- Pose questions directly to the group for discussion and consensus.
- Writing the criteria and background documents in collaboration with Climate Bonds Senior Analyst.
Then, the bulk of the work will be the criteria development process. The Technical Lead will support the establishment of a suitably competent Working Group, and see that consensus is achieved amongst the group in collaboration with Climate Bonds. Working Group meetings will likely take place every two to three weeks and last 1.5 hours. IWG meetings are fewer in number and are spread alongside the TWG process.
The technical lead main responsibilities in this stage are:
The technical lead is expected to attend all meetings and shall provide technical insight to inform and shape the discussions as other TWG members do. Climate Bonds will set up, run the meetings and take minutes. In addition to the main meetings of the TWG, supporting meetings may be needed to focus on specific issues raised, or address concerns of one individual. This might be with the group member who raised the issue or just with Climate Bonds.
The resulting documentation of this work will be a Criteria document and a supporting Background paper. The former details the requirements for bonds to become certified. The latter provides the supporting rationale for the selected criteria and details all relevant issues discussed by the TWG. The Technical Lead will draft these documents with the help of the Climate Bonds analyst. The TWG will review final documents prior to public consultation. Post-public consultation, the TWG will review any comments or feedback, Climate Bonds will implement into the Criteria where necessary. The Sustainability Analyst will work together with the consultant to ensure consistency with other criteria.
Throughout this process, regular calls will be required between the technical lead and Climate Bonds in drafting documents.
- Final Draft CRM Issues paper
- 1st Draft Criteria and Background Paper
- 2nd Draft Criteria and Background Paper
- Final Background Paper and Criteria document
- Table of responses to public consultation process
Climate Bonds and the contractor will operate in good faith to work together and complete the project in a reasonable amount of time. Currently, Climate Bonds intends to have the first draft of Criteria ready for public consultation by March 2024. Public consultation shall last 60 days, after which the TWG will reconvene to discuss feedback and whether any justified changes must be made. After this, Climate Bonds aims to have final Criteria ready for release in July 2024.
Criteria for selection
The consultant should outline their skills and what qualifies them to take up this role. This includes professional competencies and skillsets specific to technical knowledge of CRM industry.
CV and examples of previous work (such as published reports or papers) should be provided. Client references are also encouraged.
- Proposals should be received by August 18, 2023, and queries should be directed to
- Contract start date: August 21, 2023
- Contract term: 12 months
The consultant should outline their skills and what qualifies them to take up this role. This includes professional competencies and skillsets specific to technical knowledge of Mining, Metals industry. CV and examples of previous work (such as published reports or papers) should be provided. Client references are also encouraged.
- Minimum 10 years of professional experience in the mining and metals sector, preferably on the environmental effects of mining.
- Desirable: Knowledge of mining standards such as IRMA, EITI, Copper Mark, etc.
- Background in writing and overseeing high-quality research products
- Masters’ degree preferred
- Possess an excellent communication skill to maintain good relationship with external stakeholders in an international (remote) environment.
- Highly motivated, strong can-do attitude, proactive work style and excellent organizational skills and work-ethic
- Demonstrated ability to give constructive feedback and clearly explain the reasoning behind decisions
- Languages: You have proficiency in written and spoken English