A new draft notification provides regulatory provisions to incentivise individual and community actions and businesses
In a pioneering move, the Indian government is looking beyond carbon credits at green credits. A new Union government draft notification provides for setting up of a market-based mechanism to promote the LiFE or Lifestyle for Environment movement to encourage sustainable behaviour and incentivise environment friendly practices.
Issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the draft notification proposes to launch a national Green Credit Programme to promote a competitive market-based approach for green credits and incentivise stakeholders engaged in voluntary environmental actions.
The draft Green Credit Programme Implementation Rules 2023 provide for not only incentivising individuals and communities for their climate actions, but also encouraging the private sector to take steps to fulfil their legal obligations even under other instruments as long as these converge with activities for notching up green credits.
Industry leaders like Manish Dabkara, Chairman and MD EKI Energy Services, have hailed the announcement. He said, “India has truly strengthened its global leadership towards environmental sustainability through a pioneering and unique regulatory step to introduce the Green Credit Programme, which is far beyond just carbon but encompasses all major attributes of environment and social sustainability.’ He added, “One of the major highlights of the draft notification is to provide regulatory provisions to account for individual and community actions, besides corporate and businesses, and incentivize them.”
Entities and sectors ranging from individuals, Farmer Producer Organisations, cooperatives, forestry enterprises, sustainable agriculture enterprises, and Urban and Rural Local Bodies to private sector companies can generate green credits.
Green credits will be tradable on domestic market platforms by individuals and entities undertaking selected environmental activities. Any environmental activity earning green credits can also be a climate activity for carbon emission reduction or removal. Such an activity can earn not only green credits but also carbon credits.
The programme will be implemented in a phased manner with two or three activities from each sector, which include tree plantation, sustainable agriculture, waste management, air pollution reduction, sustainable buildings.
Objections and suggestions can be filed by the public over the next 60 days. The Green Credit Programme notification was expected following its mention in this year’s Union budget.