Chief Commercial Officer (remote considered)
- 156 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
The recent IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5°C starkly emphasizes the urgency of addressing all sources of greenhouse gas emissions including by aggressive pursuit of natural climate solutions. The protection and restoration of tropical forests is one of the most significant opportunities to mitigate climate change over the coming decades. Alongside political and regulatory efforts, the challenge is to create market mechanisms and mobilise finance at the necessary scale. After more than a decade of progress on the technical and policy framework for verifying forest carbon credits (known as REDD+ credits), there is now a historic opportunity to turn this vision into a reality.
With support from the government of Norway, and partnerships in place with the Environmental Defense Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Emergent Forest Finance Accelerator (“Emergent”) has been created to respond to this opportunity. Emergent will “prime the pump” for a high-integrity, high-volume REDD+ market by acting as an aggregator and intermediary to help overcome barriers for both buyers and sellers. On the demand side, Emergent will provide reliable access to jurisdictional REDD+ carbon credits for public and private buyers in both the regulatory and voluntary carbon markets. On the supply side, it will provide forest nations with a guaranteed source of demand for their REDD+ credits, by facilitating access to a range of high-volume buyers. Emergent will act as a principal in transactions and deal exclusively in credits issued under the new TREES standard. This is focused on tropical forest protection at national or sub-national (“jurisdictional”) scale, with the ambition to catalyse very substantial flows of private sector funds underwritten by sovereign guarantees.
Emergent was registered in 2019 as a not-for-profit entity (a US-registered 501(c)(4)), has a board and an executive director, and is now building the team able to rise to the jurisdictional REDD+ challenge. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) is a critical role. The role holder will have significant autonomy within a small, high-performing team to shape and catalyse a new market, with the potential for a profound impact on climate change and our environment.
The CCO will be expected to work closely with Emergent’s Chief Operations & Strategy Officer (COSO), who is primarily responsible for defining Emergent’s transactions architecture and business model. The CCO’s primary responsibility will be on Emergent’s business development strategy and execution. This includes shaping the go-to-market strategy, leading relationship development and negotiating sales of carbon credits both direct and through channel partnerships. We expect buyers will include industry consortia, airlines, energy companies, public sector clients (eg metropolitan authorities) and, in time, potentially retail customers. The CCO will also play an important role in supply side transactions with the jurisdictional programmes that generate REDD+ credits. The CCO will also be deeply involved in Emergent’s research and industry engagement activities.The holder of this role will face off to sophisticated buyers, and, along with the Exec Director, be the face of Emergent in the evolving REDD+ space. It requires considerable knowledge of the topic and ideally an established profile and network.
The holder of this role will interact with a range of businesses including sophisticated carbon market participants, and, along with the Executive Director, be the face of Emergent in the evolving REDD+ space. Emergent is a global team, so candidates will preferably be based in New York or Barcelona, with other locations considered. The CCO will manage a small team that they will have considerable freedom in shaping, recruiting and developing, working closely with the Executive Director.
We seek a dynamic, charismatic, entrepreneurial leader who can develop and articulate a compelling case for high-quality forest carbon credits in general, and for Emergent in particular, that inspires businesses to see Emergent as a critical partner in meeting their compliance market obligations or voluntary climate commitments.Oversee and develop a pipeline of opportunities on both the supply and demand sides of the market for TREES credits.
- Lead development and execution of a demand strategy that will drive high volumes of credits through Emergent, including direct sales and development of channel partnerships.
- Portfolio management of Emergent’s carbon assets.
- Maintain a profile as a thought leader and brand ambassador in the emerging REDD+ sector, and the climate sector more broadly.
- As a member of the leadership team, play a substantial role in the development and profile of Emergent as an organisation, including our strategy, development of our business model and plans, building our team and establishing and managing strategic partnerships. Lead development of marketing materials, proposals, pitch documents, etc.
- Manage prospective buyer and seller engagement and relationship development.
- Develop and manage relationships with key buyers, including leading development of concept notes, structuring documents etc for use in negotiations.
- Lead development of financial models and transaction templates, working closely with the COSO and Emergent’s legal support team.
- Manage structured negotiations and transaction documentation through to closing.
- Manage a growing team in a dynamic environment.
- Manage relationships with external parties such as legal counsel.
- Broad business development experience, with demonstrated success in managing a pipeline and closing sales, ideally in environmental commodity transactions with corporate buyers.
- Experience preparing, negotiating and executing multi-million-dollar proposals and contracts. (The boundaries of responsibility in this regard between the CCO and COSO will be agreed in discussion with the Executive Director.)
- Proven track record of success in working and negotiating with senior international clients in the public and private sector.
- Charismatic presence; excellent interpersonal, presentation, and communication skills.
- Passion for the mission of Emergent and the application of innovative financial structures to address global issues.
- Familiarity with global financial markets and development funders and financial institutions.
- Familiarity with international climate policy, including UNFCCC, Paris Agreement, etc.
- Experience and familiarity with portfolio management of carbon assets
- A high level of personal integrity and credibility at all levels within Emergent and partner organisations.
- Advanced analytical and numerical competency.
- Willing and able to work within a small team startup environment at both strategic and detailed levels to develop innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges.
- Ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial and often virtual team environment.
- Ability to deliver consistently high levels of accuracy, efficiency and follow-through.
- Ability to travel internationally at short notice.
- Expertise and existing networks in the carbon markets and/or REDD+ a plus; otherwise, willingness and ability to move rapidly up the learning curve.
- Minimum 10 years’ work experience in a relevant client-facing environment (e.g., contract negotiation, sales, corporate advisory).
- BA/BS and relevant graduate (MBA, MPA, etc) or master’s degree, or equivalent experience.
Emergent provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, local or other applicable laws.
Please include your cover letter and resume as a single PDF document when applying.