Green Credits and the Dilutions of the Environment Act: A Recipe for Greenwashing

  • Soomrit Chattopadhyay,
  • Vivekanand A. and Iqbal Sheikh
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  • Soomrit Chattopadhyay

    Senior Research Associate at Centre for sustainable development Gokhale Institute, Pune, India

  • Vivekanand A.

    Research Fellow at GIPE, India

  • Iqbal Sheikh

    Research Fellow at GIPE, India

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The Dichotomy of the ambitious Carbon Credit and green credit policies of India and the dilution of the environment act are presented in the following paper. In 2023, India saw the passage of 3 legislations namely the Green Credit Policy, Compliance Carbon Trading Scheme(CCTS) and the changes to the Environment and Biodiversity Act. India witnessed significant dilutions in its environmental laws, particularly in the penal provisions of key regulations. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) proposed amendments to laws such as the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, aiming to dilute the penal provisions, which include imprisonment of offenders. These dilutions have raised concerns about the potential impact on environmental protection and the fundamental rights of communities. The proposed dilutions have been criticized by experts and environmental organizations, highlighting the need to maintain the integrity of environmental laws and regulations to ensure sustainable development and environmental justice. The dilutions in environmental laws have been viewed as contradictory to India's commitment to depart from a "business as usual" approach and have sparked discussions about the need for stronger regulatory mechanisms to safeguard The passage of the carbon credit laws, particularly the Carbon Credit Policy, may impact the existing regulatory framework related to environmental compliance and corporate social responsibility. The introduction of a compliance carbon market and the issuance of Carbon Credit Certificates (CCCs) may lead to a shift in the focus of companies towards carbon mitigation activities, potentially affecting their prioritization of CSR initiatives and environmental compliance. The absence of a concrete definition of 'carbon credits' and the open-endedness of the carbon trading scheme have raised concerns about regulatory ambiguity and the need for robust oversight to prevent greenwashing and ensure the integrity of the market Additionally, the establishment of a cross-sectoral regulatory mechanism and the empowerment of the central government to specify the carbon credit trading scheme under the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2022, indicate a significant regulatory overhaul to accommodate the carbon credit market. An overhaul that could eventually lead to a mess in terms of industries compliance on paper. The industries will be free not to undertake any compensatory activities on the site of the industry and thus becoming free of any commitments the affected area’s population .This will be facilitated by the celebrated green credit and carbon credit policy of India which once implemented has the potential to wreak havoc on the current environment.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, Page 1108 - 1118


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