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India pitches for more ‘holistic’ Green Credit at COP28 summit

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Dec 02, 2023 05:05 AM IST

The Green Credits Programme has been conceptualised to incentivise voluntary efforts to address the challenge of climate crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the purview of carbon credits is very limited and plagued by a commercial element, as he pitched for a more “holistic” Green Credit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanges greetings with Sweden Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and European Council President Charles Michel during the launch of the web portal of the Green Credits Programme at the COP28 World Climate Action Summit, in Dubai on Friday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanges greetings with Sweden Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and European Council President Charles Michel during the launch of the web portal of the Green Credits Programme at the COP28 World Climate Action Summit, in Dubai on Friday. (ANI)

The Green Credits Programme has been conceptualised to incentivise voluntary efforts to address the challenge of climate crisis, the PM said at a high-level event on the Programme at the World Climate Action summit at COP28 in Dubai.

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“I have always felt that the purview of carbon credit is very limited. In a way, this philosophy is influenced by the commercial element. I have seen a major lack of a sense of social responsibility in the system of carbon credit. We will have to emphasise on a new philosophy in a holistic manner and that is the foundation of Green Credit,” the PM said.

“The manner in which we give importance to our Health Card in life, we have to similarly start thinking in the context of environment. We will have to see what is to be done to add positive points to Earth’s Health Card. I think this is what Green Credit is,” he said.

Also read- Deliver adequate finance to meet Global South goal: PM

PM Modi together with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE, co-hosted the event, which also saw the participation of Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Sweden, Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique and Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

“The Green Credit Initiative has been conceptualised as a mechanism to incentivise voluntary pro-planet actions, as an effective response to the challenge of climate change. It envisions the issue of Green Credits for plantations on waste/degraded lands and river catchment areas, to rejuvenate and revive natural ecosystems,” the PM explained and invited all nations to join the initiative.

A release from the ministry of external affairs said that the global initiative aims to facilitate global collaboration, cooperation and partnership through exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices in planning, implementation and monitoring of environment positive actions through programs/mechanisms like Green Credits.

During the event, a web platform to serve as a repository of policies and best practices was also launched.

Welcoming the initiative, Kristersson said, “The Green Credit initiative could lower the thresholds and show how both companies, authorities and people can take concrete action. Through the Swedish initiative Climate Leap, we know that supporting action really can make a big difference.”

Experts said that the initiative could translate into phenomenal global action.

“The scheme seeks to incentivise individual and collective action to enhance carbon sinks by valuing not just the carbon sequestration, but the multitude of benefits like biodiversity conservation. In India, in fact, the scheme is already targeting sectors beyond the forestry sector like water conservation. If green credits are traded across borders, it could lead to phenomenal global action to enhance carbon sinks as well as achieve other SDGs,” said Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

“India’s Prime Minister demonstrated vision at COP28 by outlining crucial mechanisms for global collaboration through the Green Credit Initiative. Building on India’s recent commitment to a Green Credit Scheme, the emphasis is on the interconnectedness of carbon emission mitigation, biodiversity, and adaptation issues. Now, the invitation has been sent out to the world for global cooperation. Equally noteworthy is the re-emphasis on sustainable lifestyles, echoing the PM’s 2021 Glasgow call for environmentally conscious living under Mission LiFE,” said Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of CEEW in a statement.

During the event, PM Modi and Swedish PM Kristersson also co-launched the Phase-II of the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT 2.0) for the period 2024-26. India and Sweden had co-launched LeadIT at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019.

To achieve global net-zero emissions, government and industrial partnership is critical, PM Modi said.

For our resilient, sustainable and equitable future countries that are members of the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LEAD it) and partnership with industry will be critical, he added.

“We need technology innovation for the Global South first. In the first phase we will need to focus on transition road maps and knowledge sharing for the hard to eliminate sectors like iron and steel, cement, aluminium and transport… Today 18 countries and 20 companies are members of the Lead-IT group. India in its G20 Presidency focused on circularity strategies for industry,” PM Modi said.

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