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Government Releases Draft Rules for India’s ‘Green Credit’ Scheme to Encourage Voluntary Environmental Actions

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has recently notified the draft ‘Green Credit Programme (GCP)’ implementation rules for 2023. The proposed scheme aims to encourage individuals, industries, farmers producers organisations (FPOs), urban local bodies (ULB), gram panchayats, and private sectors, among others, to undertake environment-friendly actions such as planting trees, conserving water, waste management, and reducing air pollution. By participating in these activities, entities can earn tradable “green credits” that will be incentivized through a market-based mechanism.

Incentivizing Voluntary Environmental Actions

The primary objective of the Green Credit Programme is to incentivize voluntary environmental actions across various sectors. By offering tradable green credits, the government seeks to motivate entities to actively engage in sustainable practices and contribute to ecological conservation. Through this scheme, individuals and organizations will be able to earn credits based on the extent of their environment-friendly initiatives.

Creating a Tradable Market Platform

Under the Green Credit Programme, the government plans to establish a domestic market platform where individuals and entities can trade their earned green credits. This platform will enable those who have accumulated credits to sell them to interested buyers, facilitating the transfer of environmental benefits and promoting a thriving market for sustainable actions. The introduction of a tradable credit system provides a valuable opportunity for entities to monetize their contributions to environmental conservation.

Public Consultation Process

To ensure transparency and gather valuable feedback, the draft notification of the Green Credit Programme’s implementation rules will remain open for public scrutiny and comments for a period of 60 days. This process will allow individuals, organizations, and other stakeholders to offer objections and suggestions, thereby shaping the final version of the rules. After considering the public’s input, the MoEFCC will proceed with the notification of the official rules.

Budget Announcement and Development Timeline

The announcement of the Green Credit Programme follows Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s mention of the scheme in the 2023-24 budget, illustrating the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable practices. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change subsequently developed the draft contours of the program, leading to the recent notification of the draft implementation rules. This five-month timeline demonstrates the government’s proactive approach to establishing a comprehensive framework for the Green Credit Programme.

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