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India's Green Credit Program: A sustainable way of living based on traditions and values

These rules may be called the "Green Credit Programme Implementation Rules, 2023"

The draft notification of the Gazette of India proposes the implementation of the Green Credit Programme, a market-based mechanism aimed at promoting sustainable lifestyles and incentivizing environment-friendly practices in India. The program seeks to drive behavioral changes among consumers and communities, encouraging them to adopt sustainable practices. The notification outlines the objectives, definitions, implementation mechanism, and key functions of various stakeholders involved in the program.

The Green Credit Programme aims to create a mass movement around environment-positive actions and contribute to the vision of "Mission LiFE" by providing incentives in the form of Green Credits. These credits will be awarded to individuals, organizations, and entities engaged in activities such as tree plantation, water conservation, sustainable agriculture, waste management, air pollution reduction, mangrove conservation, eco-mark certification, and sustainable building and infrastructure development.

The program emphasizes the importance of thresholds and benchmarks for each green credit activity, ensuring that the environmental outcomes align with existing legal obligations. It also emphasizes the need for digital processes to facilitate self-assessment, registration, issuance, and monitoring of Green Credits. Additionally, the notification establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Steering Committee, Green Credit Programme Administrator, Technical Committee, Green Credit Registry, Accredited Green Credit Verifiers, and Trading Platform.

One commendable aspect of the draft notification is its comprehensive approach to address various sectors and entities, ranging from individuals and farmer organizations to private sector industries and urban/rural local bodies. By including a wide range of activities, the program encourages widespread participation and promotes a holistic approach to sustainability.

Furthermore, the draft notification recognizes the potential co-benefits of environmental activities, such as the reduction or removal of carbon emissions, which can contribute to the generation of both Green Credits and Carbon Credits. This integration of multiple environmental credit mechanisms provides a comprehensive framework to address sustainability challenges.

To ensure transparency and accountability, the notification includes provisions for the establishment of a Green Credit Registry and a Trading Platform. The registry will maintain records of Green Credits and transactions, while the trading platform will facilitate the exchange of Green Credits between stakeholders.

The draft notification also emphasizes the importance of knowledge dissemination and data sharing through a dedicated online platform. This platform will provide information on various activities, sectoral progress, best practices, capacity building, and other relevant data points. This emphasis on knowledge-sharing enhances the program's effectiveness and fosters a collaborative approach among stakeholders.

The notification acknowledges the need for periodic audits of the program's functioning and administration. Empaneled auditors will ensure the integrity and compliance of the system, adding an additional layer of accountability.

Overall, the draft notification of the Gazette of India on the Green Credit Programme showcases a comprehensive and innovative approach to promoting sustainable lifestyles in the traditions of India. By incentivizing positive environmental actions and involving a wide range of stakeholders, the program has the potential to create a meaningful impact on India's sustainability landscape.

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