Norms modified for Green Credit Programme

The Union Environment Ministry has issued guidelines for the Green Credit Programme (GCP). 

What is the Green Credit Programme (GCP)?

  • The government of India notified the GCP on October 13, 2023, as an innovative market-based approach.
  • This programme is part of the larger ‘LiFE’ campaign (Lifestyle for Environment), which encourages and rewards volunteer environmentally friendly acts.
  • It involves a variety of stakeholders, including individuals, farmers, communities, private sector industries, and businesses.
  • The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), headquartered in Dehradun, is the GCP Administrator, in charge of programme implementation, management, monitoring, and operation.
  • Initially, the GCP emphasises water conservation and afforestation.

What are Green Credits?

  • The green credit rules notified under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 describe ‘green credit’ as a single unit of incentive offered for a specific activity that has a beneficial environmental impact.
  • Each tree planted and evaluated by the ICFRE after two years may provide one ‘green credit,’ which can be used in two ways:
  1. Compliance with forest rules requires compensation for forest land diversion.
  2. Meeting corporate social responsibility criteria or reporting in accordance with environmental, social, and governance standards.

Notable Feature: Green Credit Registry

  • The ICFRE is working with specialists to create a Green Credit Registry and trading platforms that will make it easier to register, purchase, and sell green credits.
  • Individuals and companies must register their actions through the central government’s dedicated app/website ( in order to receive green credits.
  • The administrator checks actions through an authorised agency, with smaller projects requiring self-verification. Once validated, the administrator issues a tradable green credit certificate.

Activities under GCP

The GCP includes numerous activities, such as:

Tree Plantation-based Green CreditEncourages tree planting and other similar efforts to increase green cover.
Water-based Green CreditEncourages water conservation, harvesting, and efficiency, including wastewater treatment and reuse.
Sustainable Agriculture-based Green CreditEncourages natural and regenerative farming practices, land restoration, and soil health improvement.
Waste Management-based Green CreditEncourages sustainable waste management strategies, such as collection, segregation, and treatment.
Air Pollution Reduction-based Green CreditPromotes measures to reduce air pollution and other pollution abatement activities.
Mangrove Conservation and Restoration-based Green CreditPromotes mangrove conservation and restoration, which are vital ecosystems for coastal protection and biodiversity.
Ecomark-based Green CreditEncourages manufacturers to earn Ecomark labels for their products and services, which demonstrate environmental sustainability.
Sustainable Building and Infrastructure-based Green CreditEncourages sustainable methods in building and infrastructure development, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy use, and environmentally friendly construction materials.

Future Prospects

  1. The scheme is now in an experimental phase, with ongoing discussions about quantifying shrub and grass contributions to green credits.
  2. Equivalence of green and carbon credits.
  3. Allocation of credits for compensatory afforestation. 

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