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Green Credit Programme rules UPSC NOTE

 Who will carry out afforestation measures? 

  • The GCP programme for afforestation says that companies can “exchange” their credits for “complying with compensatory afforestation”.

  • This could be a way, critics say, to ease forest diversion requirements for mining and infrastructure companies

  • Secondly, planting trees does not automatically boost ecosystems

  • India has about 200 types of forests. 

  • Some are grasslands, some are dominated by shrubs and there have been studies to show that planting the wrong types of trees could fester

invasive species or prevent a sustainable ecosystem. 

  • There is also a threat that natural forests could be razed and invasive monocultures promoted.

  • Finally, the GCP also says that green credits that result in storing carbon (from trees) may be used for carbon trading. 

  • This again is controversial as the math equating these activities is not clear.

What will States need to do?

  • In its latest update, the Ministry has issued the guidelines that States must rely on to calculate what it would cost to restore a degraded forest landscape. 

  • The Ministry has tweaked an earlier requirement that there be a minimum of 1,100 trees per hectare to qualify as a reforested landscape and left it to States to specify them

  • Not all degraded forests can support that kind of density

  • Thus, in some places shrubs, herbs and grasses may be suitable for restoring the ecosystem.

  • Preference would be given to indigenous species.

  • The programme was currently in a “pilot project” mode and questions such as how shrubs and grasses could be quantified in terms of green credits were still being worked out.

  • Moreover, companies would not be able to offset all their obligations under compensatory afforestation using green credits, but could claim a portion of it.

Can companies trade ‘green credits’?

  • Yes, companies can trade "green credits" under certain circumstances.

  • Types of Green Credits: The term "green credit" can be broad. 

  • The most common type refers to carbon credits.

  • These credits represent one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) or equivalent reduction in greenhouse gases.

  • Trading Mechanisms: There are two main ways companies can trade carbon credits:

    • Cap-and-Trade Systems: In these programs, companies are issued a set number of emission allowances. 

    • Companies that exceed their allowance can buy credits from others with a surplus

    • This system creates a financial incentive to reduce emissions.

    • Voluntary Markets: Companies can also buy and sell carbon credits directly through voluntary markets. 

  • These markets are not regulated by governments, but they can still help companies offset their emissions and achieve sustainability goals.

  • Trading Limitations: Not all "green credits" are created equal. 

  • There can be concerns about the legitimacy of some credits, particularly regarding whether they represent real and verifiable emission reductions.

  • Additionally, some credits may be tied to specific compliance obligations and not tradable on the open market.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Green Credit Programme rules UPSC NOTE
Green Credit Programme rules UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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