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Metrics for Integrated Systems and Contexts: Côte d’Ivoire Climate Vulnerability Reduction Credit feasibility and pilot design

In Brief

The Higher Ground Foundation is working with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to help the country meet its goals and reporting obligations under the UNFCCC framework.  Working with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, with support from the Green Climate Fund, we are assessing the feasibility of deploying Vulnerability Reduction Credits (VRCs) through three main activities:

  • A pilot adaptation project that tests the potential to use VRCs;​

  • Integrating VRCs into a fund for investment in adaptation projects, and;

  • Deploying VRCs in Côte d'Ivoire's National Adaptation Management System

​You can download a copy of our summary Phase I report here and the full report here.


We have completed the Phase I feasibility study and are currently preparing a project design for Phase II demonstration


Côte D'Ivoire is already experiencing significant climate change effects, which will continue to intensify on an accelerated timeframe. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report projects that West Africa will see increases in average temperatures within a range of 3 to 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Other projections indicate increases in extreme precipitation by as much as 60% and extended dry periods impinging on the growing season. These temperature and rainfall pattern changes will have a potentially serious effect on the country’s agriculture—in particular, the valuable cocoa crop—and on human health and well-being through reduced crop sales and nutrition, increased disease vectors, reduced water quality, and damage to infrastructure through enhanced flooding and winds. Other significant losses are being experienced as a result of coastal erosion and deforestation. 


The Republic of Côte D'Ivoire is a signatory to the Paris Agreement and  has partnered with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in an effort to “strengthen the Government[’s] capacity to integrate climate change adaptation into national and sectoral planning processes” through its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) framework. However, there is a lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities on adaptation, a lack of technical capacity, insufficient data for risk-informed planning, and a lack of a monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) system and strategy for financial motivation as barriers to robust implementation of its national adaptation goals.

To help address these challenges, the country's environment ministry is investigating the applicability of a quantifiable metric of reduced vulnerability to climate change; specifically, the Vulnerability Reduction Credit (VRC), a quantified and fungible metric of climate adaptation developed by the Higher Ground Foundation. Using the VRC mechanism, verified project vulnerability reduction results generate credits representing an adaptation project’s avoided impact costs, adjusted for local income levels. VRCs generated by projects reflect quantified and monitored vulnerability reduction efforts and can be sold on to third parties to fund these efforts or used to evaluate and compare technologies and processes in terms of their effectiveness.


The objective of this project is to help the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to more effectively identify, support, and implement adaptations to climate change in accordance with its  NAP under the 2015 Paris Agreement and the framework that has been developed with the GCF. This effort is involves three pillars: piloting VRC projects, launching a VRC registry as part of an adaptation fund, and proposing a system for identifying metrics usable by the country's emerging National Management System. 


In our initial phase, we developed preliminary designs and recommendations for implementing three key projects contributory to meeting the above goals:  

Pilot Project: We carried out a prefeasibility study for a pilot VRC climate adaptation project in which the practices, and financial instruments needed by communities in RCI and elsewhere to adapt to specific vulnerabilities to climate change will be defined. Based on these defined requirements, we are currently with partners to identify one or more projects in the Ivory Coast as feasible  pilots to generate VRCs through vulnerability reduction.
Adaptation Fund: In Phase I, we defined the scope of a certification instrument-based fund for leveraging investment in adaptation projects and the potential trading of adaptation credits . The fund is to be managed within the country of Côte D'Ivoire by and/or on behalf of the Government  as part of its development and implementation of the country’s National Adaptation Plan and will d be designed as a springboard for deploying GCF and other resources to support results-based adaptation projects by entering into agreements to purchase VRCs. 
Management System: We scoped a facility to function within the National Adaptation Management System for more effectively identifying, supporting, and implementing climate adaptations in Ivory Coast. In addition to providing a registry for VRC issuance and tracking  through which all VRCs produced by adaptation projects in RCI would be uniquely and transparently identified and tracked,  this component will serve as a platform for managing, financing, and growing the VRC fund and provide linkage to external national and international finance and reporting systems.


Conference of Parties 27 Presentation and Consultation

To report on our findings and consult on next steps, we attended the 27th UN Conference of Parties  from 9 to 15 November 2022. We met with stakeholders and potential partners to obtain their input and guidance on what they would be interested in seeing brought into play in a future Adaptation Credit and National Management framework as well as in ongoing VRC generating vulnerability reduction project activities. 

Project Materials

  • To download our Phase I report, click here

  • To download our COP27 slide deck, click here

  • To download our policy paper, click here

  • To download our briefing on the Vulnerability Reduction Credit, click here

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