Brian Hernández Tena ’23

United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Switzerland

I had the pleasure of working with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) under David Carlin ’12. The initiative aims to provide financial institutions, investors, and stakeholders with the proper knowledge needed to incorporate climate-related disclosures into their existing business models and broader financial stability structures. UNEP FI advises its member institutions on the risks, opportunities, and potential climate-related impacts on their portfolios through relevant informational materials, modules, and sessions.

Working on a climate stress test spreadsheet.

The first significant project I was given had me research and summarize past, current, and future climate stress tests that aim to assess and quantify the transitional and physical risks that financial institutions may face as the world heads towards a green economy and increasingly faces more climate-induced environmental events. The project required me to give detailed summaries on how climate stress tests differed from traditional stress tests as well as the quantitative and qualitative assumptions of different climate stress tests. The project allowed me to incorporate my skills in data and spreadsheet analysis and although it was meticulous, it was in an area that I truly cared about.

Another significant project that I worked on was a scenario analysis report on Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries. I was tasked with projecting oil demand, emissions levels, natural gas demand, and coal demand under several different scenarios that measured orderly transitions, disorderly transitions, and large temperature increases. The project contained quantitative aspects in the form of modeling and graphing projections and qualitative aspects in the form of interpreting what these projections suggested. In addition to this scenario analysis report, I was charged with another smaller scenario analysis project that had me clean up large data sets and create pivot tables and charts that could be used by member financial institutions to quantify their exposures to climate-related risks.

I also drafted a weekly newsletter for member financial institutions that contained summaries of the daily modules and sessions, guest speakers, surveys, and the latest developments in the world of climate change and climate finance. Overall, being a part of so many projects and working alongside people from a wide variety of career backgrounds has allowed me to add more depth and experience in the area of climate finance. This internship has truly solidified my goal of pursuing a career in climate finance in addition to providing me with several networking contacts for the future and has given me industry knowledge on the public side of things. Whether I decide to pursue a career in the public sector or transition to the private side of things, I know that I am a prepared, competitive applicant for either role. I would like to express a big thank you to my internship sponsor, 
James D. Marver ’72; my internship supervisor, David Carlin ’12; and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration as without them I would not have had such a rewarding summer experience.