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Programme Management Specialist [Carbon Markets]

New York City

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Renewable Energy sector
    • Climate Change
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Background Information - Job-specific

New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York.  The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) of the United Nations to implement the activities of the Climate Action Team (CAT) Project. 

Following COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Sharm el-Sheik, there is less than a decade to prevent a climate breakdown. Without deep emissions cuts, the world is heading towards 2.4-degrees Celsius of warming with catastrophic consequences. At current levels of warming the world is experiencing unprecedented climate impacts.

An increase in global average temperature above 1.5˚C would mean extreme weather and climate disasters increasing in frequency and intensity, putting billions of people at immediate risk with significant parts of Africa becoming unlivable and whole countries ceasing to exist. The Secretary-General’s call to all countries, cities, companies and institutions to go into emergency mode on climate is needed more than ever.

While climate change risks undermining the 2030 Agenda, as well as the social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainable development, climate action also presents an opportunity. Green investments boost growth and jobs; just transitions are inclusive and help to eradicate poverty; and enhancing carbon sinks strengthen biodiversity and resilience. It will be essential to ensure that the transformation of economies and societies takes place to enable accelerated climate action in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objective of the Secretary-General’s climate action strategy throughout his second term will be to accelerate this decade, the transition towards a resilient, net zero world, that keeps the 1.5˚C goal alive, to secure the alignment of public and private finance, of technological transfers and capacity building to enable the necessary cooperation and support needed by developing countries, to significantly enhance the credibility and accountability of commitments taken by governments and non-state actors to reach the Paris Agreement goals.

It will be critical to build on progress made at COP26 and COP27. The two-year period from Glasgow in November 2021 to the Global Stocktake in November 2023 will be essential to meeting this goal and is aligned with the complementary push for accelerated efforts during the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030. This will require enhanced coordination and collaboration across the United Nations System especially at the country level.

The Secretary- General’s Climate Action Team will focus on the following:

  • Raising ambition levels and concrete mitigation commitments by the major emitters, particularly the G20.
  • Contributing to the reform of the international climate finance architecture and the multilateral development banks including through the design and operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund decided at COP27.
  • Delivering tangible results to scale up adaptation and resilience finance and projects in developing countries including through cooperative initiatives. 
  • Developing and implementing targeted strategies for fossil fuel phase-out and renewable energy scale-up including through the Just Energy Transition Partnerships and other cooperative initiatives.
  • Strengthening and verifying short-term and longer-term commitments made by non-state actors to reach net zero by 2050 through the implementation of the guidelines recommended to the Secretary-General at COP27 by the High-Level Group of Experts on Net Zero pledges
  • Enhancing UN system support to countries to deliver on the climate and environment-related Sustainable Development Goals this decade.
  • Providing of up-to-date analytics and policy guidance for the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, UN leadership and Member States.
  • Designing and executing a cross-UN global communications campaign and movement focused on SG and UN leadership on climate action at all levels, and messaging and storytelling to build political will, elevate local solutions and mobilize individual actions.

The incumbent of this position will be a staff member of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision and guidance of the Director and in support of the Senior Programme Manager on Finance, the responsibilities of the Programme Management Specialist [Carbon Markets] include:

  • Manage the engagement with relevant UN entities to ensure coordination and alignment on issues relative to carbon markets (compliant and not compliant)
  • Working with the Finance lead, design a strategy to track voluntary carbon markets and ensure they respect high environmental integrity principles and that voluntary carbon credits users are held accountable through full transparency and disclosure.
  • Contribute to the preparation of strategic notes and advice relating to compliance and voluntary carbon markets with a strong focus on the defense of high environmental integrity principles.
  • Monitor trends and innovations on the use of carbon credits in high-emitting sectors, including high-emitting industries (cement, steel, aluminum, chemicals, and transportation (road, aviation, shipping).
  • Contribute to the  preparation of strategic notes and advice relating to carbon pricing with a strong focus on the defense of high environmental integrity principles.
  • Manage the engagement with relevant UN entities (UNEP-FI; UNFCCC) and private finance initiatives to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations relative to carbon markets and the use of voluntary credits of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Expert Group on the credibility and accountability of net zero pledges.
  • Perform other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above.Perform other duties as assigned.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree) preferably in a relevant field is required. 
  • Two (2) additional years of relevant work experience, in combination with a relevant first-level university (bachelor’s degree or equivalent), may substitute for the requirement of a master’s degree
Experience Required:
  • At least five (5) years of relevant professional experience in programme and/or project management.
  • Experience coordinating climate initiatives and/or coalition building. 
Desirable (The following experience is optional. Candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply):
  • Experience in identifying, strengthening and/or leveraging relationships with Member States, the UN system and non-State actors to help advance policy objectives.Experience working directly with private sector organisations.
  • Experience developing standards for measuring climate ambition of non-state actors.
  • Experience effectively synthesizing and communicating technical and policy findings in a clear and concise manner to colleagues internally and to external non-technical audiences, including through producing briefing, speeches and strategy papers for seniors.
  • Fluency in English is required.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed Term
Contract level: P3
Contract duration One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

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