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Green Credit Programme, Key Focus Areas and Challenges

Context: The Union Environment Ministry has tweaked the norms of the Green Credit Programme (GCP) clarifying that primacy must be accorded to restoring ecosystems over merely tree planting.

About Green Credit Programme

  • The Green Credit Program, introduced on October 13, 2023, represents an innovative market-based mechanism designed to incentivize voluntary environmental actions across diverse sectors.
  • This initiative encourages participation from various stakeholders including individuals, communities, private sector industries, and companies.

Governance Framework and Implementation

  • Inter-ministerial Steering Committee: A dedicated committee oversees the governance framework of the GCP.
  • Role of ICFRE: The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) plays a pivotal role as the GCP Administrator, responsible for program implementation, management, monitoring, and operation.

Key Focus Areas

The GCP, in its initial phase, prioritizes two critical activities:

  • Water Conservation: Promoting practices aimed at preserving and efficiently utilizing water resources.
  • Afforestation: Encouraging initiatives for the planting and nurturing of trees to combat deforestation and enhance green cover.

Methodologies and Processes

  • Draft Methodologies: Detailed methodologies for awarding Green Credits have been developed and will undergo stakeholder consultation.
  • Benchmarking: These methodologies establish benchmarks for each activity/process to ensure environmental impact and fungibility across sectors.
  • Digital Platform: A user-friendly digital platform streamlines project registration, verification, and issuance of Green Credits.
  • Green Credit Registry and Trading Platform: ICFRE, in collaboration with experts, is developing a registry and trading platform to facilitate the registration and trading of Green Credits.

Obtaining Green Credits

To obtain Green Credits, individuals and entities must:

  • Register their activities through the central government’s dedicated app/website.
  • Undergo verification by the Administrator, with self-verification available for small projects.
  • Upon verification, receive a Green Credit certificate, tradable on the green credit platform.
  • These credits can be claimed by the financing organisation and used in two ways:
    • Either using it to comply with existing forest laws that require organisations, which divert forest land for non-forestry purposes, to recompense by providing an equivalent amount of land elsewhere.
    • Or be used for reporting under environmental, social and governance leadership norms or to meet corporate social responsibility requirements.

Changes Introduced

  • The Environment Ministry has changed the earlier requirement of minimum 1,100 trees per hectare to qualify as reforested landscape and left it to States to specify them. 
  • Companies would not be able to offset all their obligations under compensatory afforestation using green credits but could claim a portion of it.

Green Credit Programme Challenges and Concerns 

  • Critics raise concerns about the simplistic approach of measuring success by tree count, which overlooks ecological complexities and risks creating “green deserts.”
  • The methodology for generating green credits is questioned for its environmental soundness and potential for exploitation.
  • Pressure on “degraded” lands for afforestation may harm existing ecosystems and biodiversity


  • The GCP holds potential as a catalyst for environmental conservation and restoration.
  • Success requires a nuanced understanding of ecological dynamics and a commitment to holistic restoration practices.
  • By embracing biodiversity-based afforestation, leveraging technology, and fostering transparency and collaboration, we can realize a greener, more sustainable future.

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Green Credit Programme FAQs

What is the green credit platform in India?

Launched in October 2023, the Green Credit Programme aims to create tradable credits from a range of activities, such as reducing air pollution and incorporating sustainable infrastructure.

What are the objectives of green credit?

The key objectives of the Green Credit Programme are as follows: The program aims to reward individuals and entities for their positive contributions to the environment.

Which ministry is responsible for green credit program?

The Green Credits Programme, launched by the Environment Ministry in October this year, is an effort to create a market-based incentive for different kinds of environment-positive actions, not just for carbon emission reductions.

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I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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