New age conservation: World Polluters Trying to Play Games with India
The World’s biggest polluters have been the industry in USA and European Countries for the last two hundred years. Now when India is surging ahead, they are trying to play mind games with the rising star. However they are not going to Succeed.
India had made a plan of its own and will move ahead accordingly. So Western Press must stop making statements that “ India – which has become one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitting nations but aims to reach net-zero emissions only by 2070.”
Such statements will not gain them anything. Yes, if they want India to become net zero emitter before 2070, then they must part with their latest technology and give it to India free of cost. Otherwise, India will develop better technologies but at its own pace.
India has already passed a new energy conservation law in December that seeks to establish rules allowing government and industry to earn and trade carbon credits generated by efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, starting on a voluntary basis.
In October, Indian green energy firms and carbon offset providers teamed up to develop a carbon market aimed at helping meet India’s energy transition goals, and plan to work with the government to create “robust guidelines” for the market.
So gimmicks of luring a few rich Indians into the new businesses like Climes, Lowsoot and WOCE to grab a share of India’s growing sales of carbon credits, will not work much. Majority of Indians are becoming climate-conscious consumers but they will not be lured into this green everything business and pay to multinational firms. Yes, they will start doing it when Indian firms enter the business in a transparent manner and as per Indian laws.
Globally, credits worth nearly INR 17000 Crores traded on the largely unregulated voluntary carbon market in 2021, almost four times the previous year, with about 500 million credits – representing 500 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions – changing hands, according to Ecosystem Marketplace.
Campaigners have already called for more scrutiny of this market in the absence of regulation, pointing to challenges in knowing how much of the money being invested in carbon credits really benefits the climate and is going to local communities.
Aware of such concerns and “green scams,” carbon-offsetting platforms are providing geo-spatial data to show on-the-ground progress at forest conservation and land restoration projects and regular updates on the projects they source their credits from, as well as visiting sites to monitor work directly.
Firms trying to build a carbon market in India say “aware consumers” are key to efforts to grow it and curb emissions. Climate campaigners are criticizing offsets as an easy way out for polluters that want to avoid cutting their own emissions by paying others to do so.
“A ton of carbon emitted will always have higher impact than a ton absorbed or reduced,” said Khaled Diab, communications director at Carbon Market Watch, a nonprofit that works on fair carbon pricing to achieve zero-carbon societies.
“This is one of the reasons why carbon credits should not be used for offsetting. Climate action is good, but buying credits should not be seen as a ‘get out of jail free card,’” he added.
Describing the market as “a bit of a Wild West,” Diab said its unregulated nature puts the burden on buyers to appraise the credibility of the carbon credits on offer – a daunting challenge for the majority who are not experts.
Manish Dabkara, president of the newly formed Carbon Markets Association of India, said there had been instances of brands “indulging in greenwashing” – with some, but not all, managing to get away with it, as scrutiny is on the rise.
“Now there is more awareness and transparency in the market,” added Dabkara, also the CEO of EKI Energy Services Limited which provides carbon-offsetting services.
So far carbon credits have mainly been a “luxury” product in India, bought by higher-income individuals, but that could shift in line with international trends for wider use, he added.