India to Launch Green Credit Program to meet broad environmental goals

India to Launch Green Credit Program to meet broad environmental goals

India is a country that is committed to achieving its environmental and climate goals, as well as promoting a sustainable lifestyle for its citizens.

One of the initiatives that the government has announced in this direction is the Green Credit Programme (GCP), which is designed to incentivize voluntary environmental actions undertaken by individuals, private sectors, small-scale industries, cooperatives, forestry enterprises, and farmer-produce organizations.

The GCP is a market-based mechanism that will allow the generation and trading of Green Credits for various environmental services and activities that support the vision of Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE). Life is a concept introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 in Glasgow, which advocates a pro-planet, pro-people way of life and mindful and deliberate utilization of resources, instead of mindless and destructive consumption.

The GCP will cover sectors such as increasing the green cover through tree plantation, promoting water conservation and reuse, promoting natural and regenerative agricultural practices and land restoration, waste management, reducing air pollution, conservation and restoration of mangroves, sustainable building and infrastructure, and more. The GCP will also encourage private sector industries and companies to meet their existing obligations under other legal frameworks by taking actions that are relevant for generating or buying Green Credits.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified the draft rules for the implementation of the GCP under the Environmental Protection Act.

The draft rules outline the eligibility criteria, accreditation process, verification procedure, registry system, trading platform, and monitoring mechanism for the GCP.

The draft rules also specify the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders such as the National Green Credit Authority, State Green Credit Authorities, Accredited Entities, Green Credit Generators, Green Credit Buyers, and Green Credit Verifiers.

The GCP is expected to create a mass movement around environmental positive actions and realize the vision of Mission LiFE through pro-planet people and entities. The GCP will also help India achieve its net zero goal of 2070 by facilitating the energy transition and enhancing carbon sequestration. The GCP is a pioneering and unique initiative of the Indian government that will help mitigate climate change and ensure ecosystem sustainability.