Gujarat Forest Department Signs MoUs Worth Over $266 Million for Carbon Credits
Gujarat, a state in India, has made significant strides in the battle against climate change by signing three crucial Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 2,217 crore or over US$266 million for carbon credits from planting mangroves. These deals have been signed as part of the upcoming 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, making it the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. This pioneering effort showcases India’s commitment to fighting the adversities of climate change.
In addition to the mangrove plantation deals, the forest department of Gujarat has also entered into agreements in agroforestry, highlighting the state’s commitment to exploring different methods for carbon sequestration. This emphasizes the importance of promoting sustainable land use practices in the region. India has revealed its new climate change commitments, aiming to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
As the world’s third-largest emitter, India has captured the carbon market spotlight with several climate action plans proposed in 2022. The country plans to begin carbon trading for the heavy-emitting sectors, including energy, steel, and cement, as part of its goal to transition to cleaner energy and achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. The Gujarat government is also actively investigating carbon sequestration in wetlands, recognizing that wetlands can store significant amounts of carbon. The Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation is conducting a comprehensive carbon study at four Ramsar sites in the state to further understand the potential of wetlands in carbon sequestration.
A dedicated conclave is scheduled from January 10 to 12, focusing specifically on Dholera, a burgeoning greenfield smart city located 100 kilometers away from Ahmedabad city. Dholera is the largest of the eight industrial greenfield cities under development in the first phase of the $100 billion project. The conclave aims to highlight Dholera’s potential as a hub for smart businesses.
Smart cities are becoming a trend globally as countries aim to green their urban areas and businesses. In 2022, Saudi Arabia revealed “The Line,” a zero-carbon city in NEOM. The Gujarat Global Summit also includes a pivotal seminar entitled “Towards Net Zero” on January 12, which will bring global and national leaders together to discuss India’s pledge to fight climate change. The seminar aims to facilitate discussions on net-zero targets, decarbonization of the economy, and carbon trading.
Carbon credits, despite experiencing historic lows in prices last year, are seen as crucial in reducing harmful emissions. Many countries, including India, are strengthening their carbon credit markets to promote transparency and integrity. African countries also view carbon credits as a crucial tool in attracting funding from wealthier nations. The strategic initiatives by the Gujarat government in carbon credits highlight its unwavering commitment to sustainable growth and development, aligning seamlessly with India’s overarching goals to mitigate climate change and promote economic progress in a sustainable direction.