In an effort to encourage environmentally responsible actions through market-based incentives, the government has introduced the groundbreaking Green Credit program. This initiative, born from the ‘LiFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) campaign at the national level, aims to stimulate a competitive marketplace for green credits, thus promoting eco-friendly endeavors. Here, we explore the comprehensive framework of the Green Credit program, its primary objectives, and the mechanisms for individuals and entities to engage in environmentally beneficial actions and earn incentives.
Key Features of the Green Credit Program:
The Green Credit program encompasses eight pivotal activities, including:
- Green Cover Expansion: Encouraging activities that enhance the nation’s green cover.
- Water Conservation and Efficiency: Promoting water conservation, harvesting, efficiency, and reuse, including wastewater treatment.
- Sustainable Agriculture and Land Restoration: Supporting natural and regenerative agricultural practices and land restoration to improve productivity, soil health, and nutritional value.
- Waste Management: Encouraging sustainable waste management practices, encompassing collection, segregation, and environmentally sound handling.
- Air Pollution Reduction: Promoting measures to reduce air pollution and other pollution abatement activities.
- Mangrove Conservation: Measures for the conservation and restoration of mangroves.
To earn green credits, individuals and entities are required to electronically register their environmental activities on a dedicated website. These activities will undergo verification by a designated agency, and upon successful verification, the Administrator will grant a green credit certificate.
The calculation of green credits will be based on resource requirements, scale, scope, size, and other relevant parameters necessary to achieve the desired environmental outcomes.
A Green Credit Registry will be established, and the Administrator will maintain a trading platform to facilitate the exchange of green credits.
The program’s primary goal is to incentivize environmentally positive actions through market-based mechanisms. These green credits will be tradeable on a domestic market platform.
The initiative encourages industries, companies, and entities to fulfill their existing or other obligations under existing environmental laws. It also promotes voluntary environmental measures by permitting the generation or purchase of green credits. However, green credits generated or procured to meet legal obligations cannot be traded.
It’s important to note that the Green Credit program operates independently of the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme, 2023, established under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. While environmental activities generating green credits may have climate co-benefits, such as reducing carbon emissions, they may also qualify for carbon credits under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme.