Green Credits scheme launched for Eco push

Green Credits scheme launched for Eco push

News: The Environment Ministry has issued a draft notification detailing a proposed ‘Green Credits Scheme’.

What is the Green Credit Programme/Scheme?
• Under this, individuals, industries, FPOs, ULBs, gram panchayats and private sectors, etc., will be able to earn “green credit” for undertaking environment-friendly actions. The green credits will be tradable on a proposed domestic market platform.
• It follows the principle of LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment.
• The overall administration of the scheme will be under the Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education – an autonomous organisation/ governmental agency under the MoEFCC.

Which are the Focus sectors/activities that can qualify for Green credits?
• Tree Plantation based Green Credits
• Water based Green credit – To promote water conservation, water harvesting, water use efficiency/savings
• Sustainable agriculture-based green credit to promote natural and regenerative agricultural practices and land restoration to improve productivity.
• Waste management-based Green Credit - To promote sustainable and improved practices for waste management, including collection, segregation and treatment.
• Air pollution reduction-based Green Credit - To promote measures for reducing air pollution and other pollution-abatement activities.
• Ecomark-based Green Credit - To encourage manufacturers to obtain an eco-mark label for their goods and services
• Mangrove conservation and restoration-based Green Credit - To promote measures for the conservation and restoration of mangroves.
• Sustainable building and infrastructure-based Green Credit - To encourage the construction of buildings and other infrastructure using sustainable technologies and materials.

What is the overall observation of the scheme?
• It’s a first-of-its-kind instrument that seeks to value and reward multiple ecosystem services to allow green projects to achieve optimal returns beyond just carbon. The scheme will allow project proponents to also access carbon markets additionally.
• The scheme will incentivise a host of activities including afforestation programmes, water conservation, waste management and remedying air pollution by allowing individuals and organisations to generate ‘green credits”.
• Unlike carbon markets, where only greenhouse gas emissions were traded, the Green Credit Scheme was “trickier” as it involved accounting for a wide range of actions. For example, how much water one saved is equivalent to a tonne of CO2 prevented from emissions is difficult to establish.
• Possible risk of Greenwashing

Way Forward
• Capacity needs to be built to monitor these systems and prevent fraud. It will save resources that could be diverted to more transformational pollution control and biodiversity protection efforts.

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