Climate change affects us all, but for those living in already poverty-stricken communities, these effects are even more brutal. The most vulnerable are also, unfortunately, the hardest hit, and without proper resources, finances, and training, they have little hope of survival as the effects of climate change worsen with each passing year. Climate change knows no boundaries, and due to the interconnectedness of the ecosystem, the effects of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and drought from one country impact every country. As a global society, it is, therefore, necessary for all of us to address climate change and implement ways to mitigate the impacts of global warming activities.

Climate change initiatives in Africa are few and far between for numerous reasons. Most of the African countries that submitted plans in Paris rely on partial or complete international funding. As climate finance has been slow, it is becoming increasingly unrealistic for Africa to deliver their climate plans. 

Many of their big cities are plagued with poverty, bad infrastructure, overpopulation, conflict and dysfunctional governance.  These challenges become nearly insurmountable as they try to implement and build from scratch a stable green energy system that will further their capacity to achieve the goals of lowering their carbon output. However, the Paris Agreement does provide an opportunity to accelerate socio-economic growth and develop a policy framework and operational paths to sustainable development if the international community properly supports them. Knowing this, we at ERI have been actively working to mitigate the effects of climate change through our many programs worldwide.

ERI Climate Change Initiative for Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali

The whole northern region of the Ivory Coast - as well as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso - have fallen victim to the disastrous effects of global warming, including drought; desertification; and lack of electricity, clean drinking water, roads, secular schools, basic community health centers, etc. Plagued by hunger, unemployment, poverty, and severe, acute food insecurity, this area is the breeding ground for terrorism.

ERI works directly with civil society to bring about sustainability through our programs, methods, and global partnerships. To combat the dual issues of instability and climate change in this particular region, ERI leaders Professor Dramane Toure and Annie Goeke have been working together for the past 10 years to design and implement a climate change initiative for West Africa. ERI has proposed and plans to implement 35 renewable energy projects (solar, wind, biomass, small hydroelectric dams), reforestation, decarbonization, mitigation, adaptation, biosafety, sustainable food security, soil restoration, pollution control, pollination, and the creation of a blue carbon mangrove. Political instability in the region put the project on hold for several years, but now that the Ivory Coast is more stable, we have reinstated our original climate change proposal.

This proposal focuses on two objectives:

1. To promote stability and lasting peace in the fight against the spread of religious terrorism and its threats in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and northern Côte d'Ivoire, and to reintegrate young people who were victims of these conflicts

2. To create the adoption of climate-constraining projects that have been chosen not only to bring the climate temperature down to 2 degrees centigrade by the end of the century but also serve as a means to solve the problems of durable peace and stability 

Our overall goal is to create stable and thriving countries of environmentally conscious citizens who are actively living environmentally friendly lives. To roll out this plan, we have started with the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan, with an initial focus on the neighborhood of Cocody, in an effort to create the first West African Eco-City. Through our renewable energy projects, we plan to transition the Cocody neighborhood from a petroleum-based to a mixed renewable energy environment, bringing in 400,000 jobs to the local community in the process. From there we will roll out the plan to the other 13 municipalities in the district, and then eventually to the whole of the Ivory Coast and other West African countries. 

To read the entire proposal, which was presented in both Paris and Marrakesh (COP 21, 22) as the Climate Change Initiative titled "PROPOSALS FOR 35 ERI PROJECTS, SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COTE D'IVOIRE AND THE AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY, TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND FRANCE, TO COP 22, TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENSURE SUSTAINABLE SAFETY IN WEST AFRICA", contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


As a majority of climate-changing emissions come from cities, it is in these cities where we plan to begin. Cities are in a unique position to lead the reduction of emissions and implement policies and programs that help residents and businesses minimize emissions and maximize sustainable choices.

Our mission has been to support and fund innovative initiatives at the community level that are 7 transforming and transitioning local communities, strengthening sustainability and locally generating economic growth and building a movement for climate action. With the “Cocody Green City” project, we plan to assist the city of Cocody in greening not just one, but all of the municipalities throughout Abidjan, and later throughout Cote d’Ivoire and other countries in Africa. We already have a commitment from the Mayor of Cocody (Mr. N’GOAN AKA KACOU Mathias) as well as the ministries in Cote d’Ivoire to begin to make “Cocody Green City” a reality and a leading example. Now we need the requisite funding to continue and expand the work that we’ve started. Taking on climate change is not without its challenges, but the opportunities and widespread benefits far outweigh them. Measures for efficient and sustainable energy use will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while positively impacting local businesses and infrastructure, as well as residents. By creating local jobs in renewable energy and safety, we will also combat widespread poverty in the region. Reforestation measures will not only increase carbon sequestration, but they will also beautify city streets and parks, as well as provide clean air and water.

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Cocody, Ivory Coast

Eco-City Initiative for Cocody

In cooperation with the Government of Côte d'Ivoire, ERI's Professor Toure (head of ERI West Africa's office) is working directly with the City of Cocody and its Mayor, Mr. N'GOAN Aka Mathias, to create the first West African eco-city. This city will be fueled by clean green energy and use carbon sequestration projects to reduce CO2 emissions by 28% by 2030.

To achieve this objective (which is an integral part of the strategic plans and priority objectives of the Ivorian Government), the United Nations and the African Union - in tandem with ERI - are targeting the City of Cocody in Abijdan to be the pilot city for building and implementing an Eco-City initiative, entitled "Cocody Cité Verte, Carbon well of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and Africa …." 

This pilot city will serve as a business plan and model for addressing climate change and sustainability, and will eventually convert all 13 municipalities in the District of Abidjan and other the cities of Côte d'Ivoire and West Africa into eco-cities.

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Carbon Sequestration - One of Many Tools in ERI's Climate Change Programs

Climate Change Initiative for Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali

Since 2009, Earth Rights Institute's West Africa Office, under the direction of Professor Dramane Toure Nable, has been working on climate change projects to address the challenges faced in the northern region of the Ivory Coast as well in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali. As part of the Climate Change Initiative for Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali (which all 4 nations approved), we are introducing several projects specifically geared towards carbon sequestration. 

About Earth Rights Institute

The Earth is the birthright of all people

Earth Rights Institute (ERI) is designed to be an equilateral knowledge platform, where local people collaborate with academics and development professionals, both local and foreign, by exchanging skills, experiences, and knowledge to solve crucial development issues such as widespread poverty, land right disputes and environmental degradation.

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