Green Credit Programme (GCP)

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July 01, 2023

Why in news?

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has notified draft rules for ‘Green Credit Programme’.

What is Green Credit?

  • ‘Green credit’ is a singular unit of an incentive provided for a specified activity, delivering a positive impact on the environment.
  • It can be earned by individuals, farmer-producer organisations (FPO), industries, rural and urban local bodies, among other stakeholders for their environment positive actions.
  • Programme - The Green Credit Programme (GCP) launched, was first announced in the 2023-24 budget under Mission LiFE.
  • The Ministry of Environment issued the draft ‘Green Credit Programme Implementation Rules 2023’ under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.

How will the program be implemented?

  • The Green Credit Programme (GCP) aims to leverage a competitive market-based approach and incentivise voluntary environmental actions of various stakeholders.
  • The environment ministry has identified 8 select activities for which green credit can be earned.
  • The 8 sectors
  1. Tree plantation-based green credit
  2. Water-based green credit
  3. Sustainable agriculture-based green credit
  4. Waste management-based green credit
  5. Air pollution reduction-based green credit
  6. Mangrove conservation and restoration-based green credit
  7. Eco mark based green credit
  8. Sustainable building and infrastructure-based green credit
  • Thresholds and benchmarks will be developed for each green credit activity under the programme.
  • The mechanism will be implemented in a phased manner.
  • Trade Market - The green credits will be tradable and be made available for trading on a domestic market platform.
  • The Trading Service Provider accredited by the GCP administrator will establish the trading platform for the exchange of Green Credit Certificates.
  • Implementation - A steering committee headed by the environment secretary will govern the implementation of GCP.
  • The steering committee will not only approve procedures for institutionalising the GCP.
  • It also approve its rules and regulations and make recommendations to the central government for issuance of Green Credit Certificate.
  • Administrator - The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) will be the administrator of the programme.
  • ICFRE will manage, monitor and operate the entire programme.
  • The institute will develop guidelines, processes and procedures for implementation of the programme.

What are the advantages of GCP?

  • It accounts for and incentivise individual and community actions, besides corporate and businesses.
  • The environmental activity generating Green Credits under Green Credit Programme (GCP) may have climate co-benefits such as reduction or removal of carbon emissions.
  • Such activity may accrue both green credits as well as carbon credits which may be sold under Green Credit market or carbon market respectively.
  • Helps to realise the vision of ‘Mission LiFE’ through pro-planet people and entities.
  • The GCP will encourage private sector industries and companies as well as other entities to meet their existing obligations, stemming from other legal frameworks.

What are the concerns around GCP?

  • There is a strong risk of greenwashing through such market based mechanisms.
  • It also raises serious questions about how rigour of monitoring will be maintained.


  1. DTE - Centre proposes draft rules for Green Credit Programme
  2. Business Standard - Government starts Green Credits scheme under Mission LiFE
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