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Green Credit Program : Update

Green Credit Program:

The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) has clarified that under the Green Credit Program(GCP) primacy must be accorded to restoring ecosystems over merely tree planting.

  • Green Credit Program (GCP) is an innovative market-based mechanism designed to incentivize voluntary environmental actions across diverse sectors, by various stakeholders like individuals, communities, private sector industries, and companies.
  • It is designed to foster a sustainable lifestyle and environmental conservation as part of the ‘LiFE’ initiative announced by the Prime Minister in United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
  • The Green Credit program encompasses eight key types of activities aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability:
    • Planting trees to increase green cover and combat deforestation.
    • Implementing strategies to efficiently manage and conserve water resources.
    • Promoting eco-friendly and sustainable agricultural practices.
    • Implementing effective waste management systems to reduce environmental pollution.
    • Initiatives aimed at reducing air pollution and improving air quality.
    • Protecting and restoring mangrove ecosystems for ecological balance.
  • The operational framework of the Green Credit Programme involves a process where both individuals and corporations are given the opportunity to contribute financially to the restoration efforts of forests deemed ‘degraded’.
  • This is facilitated through applications to the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), an independent entity under the Environment Ministry.
  • The ICFRE is responsible for overseeing the financial contributions directed towards forest restoration, which is then executed by the respective State forest departments.
  • The activities will then be subject to verification by a designated agency. Based on the agency’s report, the administrator will grant the applicant a certificate of Green Credit.
  • The calculation of Green Credit is determined by factors such as resource requirements, scale, scope, size, and other relevant parameters necessary to achieve the desired environmental outcomes.
  • A critical component of the program is the establishment of a Green Credit Registry, which will help track and manage earned credits.
  • The administrator will create and maintain a trading platform, enabling the trading of Green Credits on a domestic market.