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India's 'Green Credit' Rules 2023



  Jan 29, 2024

India's 'Green Credit' Rules 2023



Overview:

The Green Credit Program (GCP) introduced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in October 2023 is a significant step towards environmental sustainability in India. This program, initially proposed as draft rules in June 2023, is designed to incentivize environmental activities through a market-based approach.

Participation in GCP:

The GCP is open to a wide range of participants, including individuals, farmers, cooperatives, businesses, and government agencies. Participation is voluntary, but it provides an avenue for entities to earn and trade 'Green Credits' for their environmental contributions.

Program Phases and Activities:

The GCP will be implemented in phases:
The initial phase focuses on water management and afforestation.
Subsequent phases will cover sustainable agriculture, waste management, air pollution reduction, mangrove conservation and restoration, eco mark label development, and sustainable building and infrastructure.

Process to Earn Green Credits:

Identifying eligible activities: Review the list of activities eligible for green credits as provided in the Rules.
Registering activities: Register these activities with the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICERE).
Getting activities verified: Post-registration, activities must be verified by a designated agency to assess their environmental benefits.
Trading green credits: Verified activities earn green credits, which can then be traded on a domestic market platform.

Methodology for Green Credits:

The MoEFCC will notify the methodology for calculating green credits. Currently, draft methodologies for tree plantation and water harvesting activities have been issued.

Pros and Cons of the GCP:

Pros: Potential to earn carbon credits, drive environmental sustainability.
Cons: Could affect competitiveness, uncertainty about financial benefits, curb on unintended trade to prevent speculative or commercial use.

Future Developments:

Anticipated developments include forming technical committees for each identified activity, establishing methodologies for other activities, and setting up the Green Credit Registry and trading platform. The GCP's progress is expected to be a topic of discussion at the upcoming COP 28 in Dubai.

Conclusion

While the GCP is a promising initiative, its success will depend on robust processes, technical support, and effective monitoring. The program aims to induce behavioral transformation crucial in combating climate change. However, careful consideration is needed in calculating and measuring the benefits of activities to ensure the program's effectiveness.


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