India launches Green Credit Programme to incentivise environment-positive actions by companies

The activities covered under the Green Credit Programme will also be eligible for receiving Carbon Credits under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme
India launches Green Credit Programme
India launches Green Credit ProgrammeEnergy Watch

New Delhi: India has launched a Green Credit Programme to incentivise environment-positive actions through market-based mechanism and generate green credit, which will be tradable and made available for trading on a domestic market platform. According to a gazette notification published by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Friday, the activities covered under the Green Credit Programme will also be eligible for receiving Carbon Credits under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme if they lead to removal or reduction of carbon emissions.

“The green credit programme shall encourage industries, companies and other entities to meet their existing obligations or other obligations under any law for the time being in force, and encourage other persons and entities, to undertake voluntary environmental measures referred to in rule 4 by generating or buying green credit,” said the notification. The government also said that the green credit generated or procured to fulfil any obligation in compliance of any law will not be tradable.

The Green Credit Programme was launched by the Environment Ministry along with the Ecomark Scheme under the ‘LiFE’ – ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ movement.

Green Credit Programme: Activities covered under the programme

The activities covered under the ambit of the Green Credit Programme include, tree plantation — to promote activities for increasing the green cover across the country, water management — to promote water conservation, water harvesting and water use efficiency or water savings, including treatment and reuse of wastewater, sustainable agriculture — to promote natural and regenerative agricultural practices and land restoration to improve productivity, soil health and nutritional value of food produced, waste management — to promote circularity, sustainable and improved practices for waste management, including collection, segregation, and environmentally-sound management, air pollution reduction — to promote measures for reducing air pollution and other pollution abatement activities, mangrove conservation and restoration — to promote measures for conservation and restoration of mangroves, ecomark label development — to encourage manufacturers to obtain ecomark label for their goods and services, and sustainable building and infrastructure — to encourage the construction of sustainable buildings and other infrastructure using environment-friendly technologies and materials.

How can Green Credits be obtained?

A person or entity desirous of obtaining green credit shall register the activity undertaken by them with the administrator for the grant of green credit. The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and an autonomous body, shall be the administrator under these rules.

After an application for registration is made to the administrator electronically through a website created for the purpose, the activity will be verified by a designated agency. The agency will submit a report to the administrator, who will then grant a certificate of green credit. “The calculation of green credit in respect of any activity undertaken shall be based on equivalence of resource requirement, parity of scale, scope, size and other relevant parameters required to achieve the desired environmental outcome,” said the ministry.

While ICFRE will be responsible for the effective implementation of the Green Credit programme, including its management and operation, a steering committee consisting of representatives from the ministries or departments, experts from the field of environment, industry associations and other relevant stakeholders will be responsible for the monitoring of the implementation of the programme and for reviewing it from time to time.

Ecomark scheme

The Ecomark Scheme, notified on Friday, replaces the previous notification. It provides accreditation and labelling for household and consumer products that meet specific environmental criteria while maintaining quality standards as per Indian norms. Products accredited under the Ecomark Scheme will adhere to specific environmental criteria, ensuring minimal environmental impact. It will build consumer awareness of environmental issues and encourage eco-conscious choices. It will also motivate manufacturers to shift towards environmentally friendly production. The scheme seeks to ensure accurate labelling and prevent misleading information about products.

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The Central Pollution Control Board administers the Ecomark Scheme in partnership with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is the national body for standards and certification.

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