The Ivory Coast is already grappling with the adverse effects of climate change, and has been ranked among the most vulnerable nations due to its location, economy, and level of preparedness. Nationwide, climate change threatens to push almost a million additional Ivorians into extreme poverty, increase the risk of water shortages, and to increase the resurgence of air and water-borne diseases.
Now, five Ivory Coast mayors have teamed up with cities across the world through the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) to drive a bottom-up response that will protect the well-being of local people.
These five cities, Abengourou, Ferkessedougou, Man, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro, are developing Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans, so that they can better anticipate the ill-effects of climate change, and help to slow its progress. They are also working with the ‘Nationally Determined Contribution,’ the climate plan that the national government is developing to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Agreement. Their aim is to translate this national plan into the local context so that it can be effectively implemented at city level.
The Ivory Coast’s national climate plan will require an estimated €20.4 billion investment, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost one-third. The country’s commitment goes beyond emission reduction: it seeks to strengthen its resilience, protect its population, and drive sustainable development. Most of the changes needed to see this through will have to happen in its cities.
Empowering Local Authorities
“This is exactly where the Global Covenant of Mayors wants to and can help communities in the Ivory Coast,” said Co-Managing Director of the Secretariat of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Piero Roberto Remitti, “By developing climate action plans that can help identify projects and technological solutions, as well as facilitate access to finance,” as reported by Fratmat.
By adding their names as signatories of the Global Covenant of Mayors, these Ivorian cities have entered a community that can provide technical support to identify and address climate-related risks specific to their territories. Droughts, floods, landslides, and coastal erosion are among the challenges being tackled. The Global Covenant of Mayors provides crucial support by analyzing local climate impacts and guiding municipalities in implementing effective adaptation measures. The initiative also assists in accessing international funding, enabling cities to invest in climate change initiatives and build a sustainable future.
The process works both ways: Innovative solutions developed in the Ivory Coast can be shared through the Global Covenant of Mayors with its over 12,600 local governments, spanning six continents and 144 countries representing more than one billion people. As Ivorian cities are seeing climate impacts that may not manifest to the same degree in other geographical regions for some years to come, their experience will also provide essential insights that can help other parts of the world prepare themselves.
Driving Action on the Ground
As part of the funding from the European Union, the Global Covenant of Mayors’ technical support service will support around twenty cities during the process of joining the Global Covenant of Mayors and developing Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans. The cities in eight countries will benefit from this technical assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Pacific region. By joining forces under the Global Covenant of Mayors, these entities are championing a brighter future, where cities thrive, communities flourish, and sustainable development becomes a reality.
Agence Ivoirienne de Presse quoted the Ambassador of the European Union in the Ivory Coast, Francesca Di Mauro as saying, “The European Union supports several initiatives for the sustainable development of cities, such as the Urban Development Network and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.”
The mission of the Global Covenant of Mayors is to empower cities and local authorities, boosting their role as key players in the fight against climate change. By signing up, these cities commit to developing Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans that outline strategies for low-emission development and climate adaptation. The signatories gain access to vital technical assistance, guidance, and support tools, enabling cities to accelerate their climate and energy initiatives.
For more information, you can contact the Secretariat of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa, established in 2015, is a major catalyst for local climate action in the region, with political commitment from over 320 local governments. Its purpose is to support local governments in moving from planning to implementation, with a focus on unlocking climate finance at the local level.