16 October 2023, New Delhi: The government of India has launched a Green Credit Program (GCP) to leverage a competitive market-based approach for incentivizing environmental actions by corporates.
The government had earlier introduced ‘LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment’, a grassroots mass movement for the protection and conservation of the environment and for other environmental and climate gains. This would be done by enhancing environmental actions that propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation, and for sustainable and environment-friendly development. The concept of ‘Lifestyle for the Environment’ (LiFE) was introduced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 in Glasgow on 1st November 2021. Green Credit Program reflects the idea of LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment.
The green credit program will incentivize environmentally positive actions through market-based mechanisms and generate green credit, which shall be tradable and made available for trading on a domestic market platform. The green credit can be collected by any person or entity if they work for the protection, preservation, or conservation of the environment. The activities include tree plantation, water management, sustainable agriculture, waste management, air pollution reduction, mangrove conservation and restoration, ecomark label development, and sustainable building and infrastructure.
In its initial phase, the GCP focuses on two key activities: water conservation and afforestation. Draft methodologies for awarding Green Credits have been developed and will be notified for stakeholder consultation. These methodologies set benchmarks for each activity/process, to ensure environmental impact and fungibility across sectors. A user-friendly digital platform will streamline the processes for registration of projects, verification, and issuance of Green Credits. The Green Credit Registry and trading platform, being developed by ICFRE along with experts, would facilitate the registration and thereafter, the buying and selling of Green Credits.
Trading of Green Credits
To obtain Green Credits, individuals and entities must register their activities through the central government’s dedicated app/website. The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education is the Administrator of the program and will be responsible for its effective implementation, management, and operation. It will verify the activity through a designated agency, with self-verification for small projects. Once verification is complete, the Administrator will grant a Green Credit certificate. The certificate will be tradable on the green credit trading platform that will be established and maintained by the administrator with the approval of the Central Government.
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