India's long journey towards net zero by 2070 has shifted gears as the government has set up a national steering committee for the formulation and finalisation of the rules and regulations for the functions of an evolving Indian carbon market.

A recent gazette notification says Secretary, Ministry of Power will be ex-officio-chairperson and Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will be the ex-officio co-chairperson of the national steering committee, which will regulate the development of a carbon trading market in India.

Members of the committee will include Joint Secretaries from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Finance and from Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Steel, Ministry of coal, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Agriculture etc.

"The decision on the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme (CCTS) for the institutionalisation and functioning of the Indian Carbon Market (ICM) comes within a week of India releasing a draft document for the establishment of a green credits market. This shows the determination and commitment of the country to take a paradigm shift towards sustainable development while meeting its climate goals of turning Net Zero by 2070", says Manish Dabkara, Chairman and MD, EKI Energy Services ltd and President CMAI (Carbon Market Association Of India).

The move will help develop the carbon market with a proactive compliance and enforcement mechanism, which will help to a reasonable price discovery and a vibrant operational domestic emission trading market. Such a market mobilisation will ensure the encouragement of investors for long-term investment in carbon reduction technologies, projects and processes and towards an accelerated decarbonisation of the country's economy, explains Manish Debkara.

The committee will be responsible for the formulation and finalisation of procedures for institutionalising the Indian carbon market, formulation of specific greenhouse gases emission targets for the obligated entities, guidelines regarding trading of carbon credit certificates outside India, recommendation to bureau to issue carbon credit certificates etc.

The government will entrust the central electricity regulatory commission as a regulator to Indian carbon market.  A bureau, which will constitute one or more technical committees for different areas as required under the compliance mechanism, will regulate the Indian carbon market. It will also identify sectors and potential for reduction of greenhouse gases emissions in such sectors and recommend to the Ministry of Power to include such sectors in the Indian carbon market and to develop trajectory and targets for the entities under compliance mechanism. The Bureau will also determine the procedure including eligibility criteria for accreditation of any agency to function as accredited carbon verification agency based on the commendation of the national steering committee for Indian carbon market.

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