The government has initiated a novel program that allows individuals and entities to earn and trade green credits, which are units of incentives for environmentally beneficial actions. This program aims to encourage positive environmental contributions through market-based incentives.
The program is introduced at the national level, promoting a competitive market-based approach for green credits to incentivize environmental actions. It is a voluntary initiative stemming from the ‘LiFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) campaign.
The Green Credit program encompasses eight key activities:
- Tree Plantation: Encouraging activities to increase the green cover across the country.
- Water Management: Promoting water conservation, harvesting, efficiency, and reuse, including wastewater treatment.
- Sustainable Agriculture: Supporting natural and regenerative agricultural practices and land restoration for improved productivity, soil health, and nutritional value.
- Waste Management: Encouraging sustainable waste management practices, including collection, segregation, and environmentally sound handling.
- Air Pollution Reduction: Promoting measures to reduce air pollution and other pollution abatement activities.
- Mangrove Conservation and Restoration: Measures to conserve and restore mangroves.
Earning Green Credits
To earn green credits, individuals or entities need to register their environmental activities electronically through a dedicated website. These activities will be verified by a designated agency, and upon verification, the Administrator will grant a certificate of green credit.
Green Credit Calculation
The calculation of green credits is based on resource requirements, scale, scope, size, and other relevant parameters required to achieve the desired environmental outcome.
Green Credit Registry and Trading Platform
A Green Credit Registry will be established, and the Administrator will maintain a trading platform to facilitate the trade of green credits.
Incentivizing Positive Actions
The program aims to incentivize environmentally positive actions through market-based mechanisms. Green credits will be tradable on a domestic market platform.
Compliance and Obligations
The initiative encourages industries, companies, and entities to fulfill their existing or other obligations under existing laws. It also promotes voluntary environmental measures by allowing the generation or purchase of green credits. However, green credits generated or procured to meet legal obligations cannot be traded.
Distinction from Carbon Credits
The Green Credit program is independent of the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme, 2023, established under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. Environmental activities that generate green credits may also have climate co-benefits, such as reducing carbon emissions, and can potentially earn carbon credits under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme.