Associate / Sr. Associate - Global Climate Finance
About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. That is our mission. That is our passion. And every day, every member of our team of nearly 200 works tirelessly to achieve it. We are driving the global energy transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by working in partnership with businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to advance market-based solutions. We achieve this by developing breakthrough ideas, testing and refining them, reshaping markets, and bringing solutions to scale. RMI is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an annual budget of $46 million and offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. www.rmi.org
Global Climate Finance
RMI established a Global Climate Finance program in 2017 in recognition that the mobilization and smart allocation of finance is a critical enabler of the low-carbon transition globally. Our overall theory of change, captured in our 2018 publication Reinventing Climate Finance, envisions accelerated capital stock transformation each carbon-emitting sector’s asset base (e.g. power plants, steel mills, vehicles). This means boosting clean energy finance flows, shutting off financial flows to build “dirty” fossil assets, accelerating the rate of retirement of those dirty assets, and shrinking the volume of assets needed in the first place (e.g. through demand-side efficiency and new mobility business models).
Our program blends thought leadership and the implementation of catalytic solutions to transform our global economy’s capital stock of assets. In developing countries, we work to boost climate finance flows by building strong national institutions (Green Investment Banks, Climate Finance Access Service) and deploying innovative financial instruments to mobilize and deliver climate finance (Climate Auctions). In advanced economies, we accelerate the retirement of fossil energy capital stock by managing the capital transition while avoiding stranded assets (Managing the Coal Capital Transition), and work with financial institutions to explore opportunities to align loan books and investment portfolios with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
In addition to providing climate finance expertise across RMI programs, the Global Climate Finance team leads several initiatives:
- Green Investment Banks: A growing number of emerging markets are considering the establishment of national Green Investment Banks – publicly capitalized financial institutions with a mandate to facilitate private investment. Green banks are a replicable model designed to address market failures, crowd in private investment, and promote national ownership and the long-term mobilization of national private savings to power the energy transition. RMI organized the first-ever Green Bank Design Summit which brought together 22 emerging markets representing 72 percent of developing country carbon emissions. Now, RMI and its partners are working to establish an ongoing Green Bank Design Platform to accelerate the adoption of this powerful catalytic tool around the world.
- Climate Finance Access Service: The Climate Finance Access Service (CFAS) is the result of an extensive global consultation undertaken by RMI to design a solution to a major finance delivery bottleneck. Larger developing economies have the ability to navigate the global climate finance architecture comprising 500+ funds and initiatives, but small and low-income countries lack the expertise and capacity to structure and secure international resources. CFAS will be a cohort-based network of embedded advisors, or “climate bankers,” serving in Least Developed Countries, African countries and Small Island Developing States to facilitate structure and secure financing packages for priority mitigation and adaptation projects. Having crafted a blueprint for CFAS based on 80+ stakeholder interviews, RMI has assembled a consortium of multilateral and bilateral institutions committed to launching CFAS in 30 countries in 2020.
- Climate auctions: RMI believes auctioned carbon price floors are potentially the most transformative climate finance instrument at the intersection of public and private investment. More than $12 billion in grant-equivalent public climate finance now flows from north to south each year, but traditional instruments such as upfront grants are often inefficient, administratively complex, and offer no guarantee of real and lasting climate outcomes. Climate auctions—a 21st-century alternative—competitively allocate public funding to commercially developed mitigation projects, ensuring both transparency in selection processes and efficiency in leveraging investment. RMI staff played a key role in the leading international pilot of climate auctions and authored a peer-reviewed article cited in the IPCC 1.5C report. RMI is working with the World Bank to design a mechanism for using climate auctions to drive sectoral decarbonization in major emerging economies.
- Reinventing Climate Finance: For decades, the prevailing paradigm around climate finance has been around scaling up “clean” finance flows. A sole focus on scaling up clean flows, while a key part of the solution, neglects crucial additional levers for decarbonization: reducing finance flows to high-carbon assets, accelerating the early retirement of emitting assets, and supporting solutions to improve the efficiency of our assets. RMI provides thought leadership on reinventing climate finance frameworks, putting forward bold, whole-systems ideas about how we align finance goals and strategies with a well-below 2C world. At a time when climate finance is stuck in a conceptual integrative approaches, RMI is pushing the envelope to inform a more comprehensive and effective set of interventions to align finance goals and strategies in service of a well-below 2C world.
RMI is seeking two Associates or Senior Associates to support the Global Climate Finance initiatives described above. As part of a growing team, these positions will support a wide range of activities, including research, analysis and writing; stakeholder engagement and management; and planning and facilitation of workshops and events. In addition to supporting the above initiatives, these positions will also serve as a resource on climate finance for other programs within RMI. This is an excellent opportunity for early to mid-career professionals with a demonstrated interest in climate finance and a desire to undertake a variety of responsibilities within a fast moving program.
The Global Climate Finance team will consider candidates for both the Associate and Senior Associate levels. Associates will work closely with various team members under the direction of more senior staff, whereas Senior Associates will be responsible for more substantial portions of projects and may manage smaller projects. The appropriate level will be determined based on experience and qualifications.
For both Senior Associate and Associate roles:
- Developing analytical products including discussion papers, market surveys, concept notes, and presentations
- Supporting stakeholder outreach and engagement at a range of institutions (including multilateral development banks and development finance institutions, government agencies in both developed and developing countries, and non-governmental organizations)
- Planning, designing, and facilitating workshops hosted both at RMI and at various international venues
- Representing RMI and the Global Climate Finance program at conferences and events both domestically and internationally
- Supporting communications efforts (e.g., through blogs and other digital content)
- Preparing proposals, pitch decks, grant reports and other donor-facing materials
- Serving as a climate finance resource to various RMI programs
Senior Associate and Associate responsibilities may be divided as follows:
● Lead and conduct research and analysis
● Support research and analysis
● Lead the preparation of policy briefs, market assessments, and other program materials
● Prepare materials for written and presentation products
● Lead in coordinating with external stakeholders and conducting outreach
● Preparing materials for engagement with stakeholders and communicating with external partners
● Design and help execute external meetings, presentations, and workshops
● Lead efforts to engage and support other RMI programs
● Assist more senior staff in developing and designing initiatives strategy
● Assist in designing and engaging in external meetings, presentations and workshops
● Conduct research and analysis to support other RMI programs
● Develop materials to support strategy development and implementation
- For Senior Associate, 5+ years of work experience in a related field; for Associate, 1-2 years work experience in a related field
- Graduate degree or equivalent experience in an applicable field such as finance, economics, business, environmental policy, or international development
- Experience with and/or knowledge of one or more of the program’s key themes (climate and development finance, international climate policy and negotiations, public and private financial instruments, project finance)
- Experience with and/or knowledge of relevant international finance institutions (multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, climate funds, national institutions, international commercial banks)
- Experience at a mainstream financial institution preferred
- Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
- Highly collaborative, strong team player
- Willingness to dive into new areas of work and to learn new subject matter
- Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously
- Problem solver who is willing to develop and share ideas internally and externally
Boulder, CO or Washington D.C