Carbon Credit – Trading, Market, Carbon Credits UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Carbon Credit focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. A Carbon Credit is a tradable certificate or tradable permit that allows the holder of the credit the right to emit 1 ton of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases of the same amount. It is an offset for producers of such greenhouse gases. The main goal of Carbon Credit is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute highly to global warming.

The concept of carbon credits is based on the idea that companies and individuals can take steps to reduce their carbon emissions and then sell those reductions as credits to other organizations that may not be able to make similar reductions. In this article, we will explore more about Carbon Credits, Carbon Trading, the Carbon Market, and their potential impact on the environment.

What is Carbon Credit?

A Carbon Credit is a tradeable certificate or permit that gives the holder power to emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases over a certain period. These Carbon Credits are generated from projects around the world that keep the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) altogether. Carbon credits are basically market mechanisms for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and slowing down climate change.

Carbon Credit UPSC Notes

Regulatory bodies or governments set caps on the emission of greenhouse gasses. But for some companies, a sudden reduction in emissions is not viable financially. therefore they can purchase the carbon. Companies that are able to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases are usually credited with Carbon Credits. The sale of credits surpluses may be used for subsidizing the projects that would help the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

How Carbon Credit Works?

The main motive of Carbon Credit is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases so that climate change can be slowed down. Carbon Credit allows the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide.

  • With this process, the nations can allot a certain number of carbon credits, and they can trade them.
  • It would help to restore the balance of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • The intention is to reduce the number of Carbon Credits with time. It would allow companies across the globe to figure out innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gases on their own.

Types of Carbon Credits

  • Voluntary emissions reduction (VER): A carbon offset that is exchanged involuntary market for credits.
  • Certified emissions reduction (CER): credits created through a regulatory framework with the aim of offsetting emissions from a project.

Carbon Trading

Carbon Credits can also be traded on both public and private markets. The current rules of training allow the international transfer of credits as well.

  • The prices of Carbon Credits depend on the levels of demand of supply in the markets. So the price fluctuates on the supply and demand in different countries.
  • Carbon Credits have proven beneficial to society. However, it is not easy for the average investor to start using credits as an investment vehicle.
  • Certified Emissions Reductions are the only product that can be used as investments in credits. However, the CERs(Certified Emissions Reductions) are sold by special carbon funds, which have been established by big financial institutions.
  • The carbon funds give an opportunity for small investors to enter the market.

Carbon Markets for Caron Credits

Carbon markets allow for the selling and buying of carbon emissions with the objective of reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gases. Let’s see how the process of buying Carbon Credit works. Carbon markets can reduce the emissions reduction over and above what the countries are doing on their own. It can be explained with an example. The emission of greenhouse gases in a factory in India can be achieved in two ways.

  1. A country that hasn’t been able to reduce emissions can provide technology or financial support to that factory in India to claim the reduction of emissions as its own.
  2. on the other way, that factory in India can make investments and offer sales of emission reduction which is called Carbon Credits. So other parties that are struggling to meet their target can purchase these Carbon Credits and show these as their own.

Carbon Credit Initiatives Worldwide

In 1997, the United Nations came up with a Carbon Credit proposal to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. It is also known as Kyoto Protocol. This agreement implemented a limit on emissions for the countries who signed it. The Kyoto Protocol divided the nations into two parts- Developing & industrialized economies. In 2012 the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ended.

Read: United Nations Environment Programme

Carbon Credit Market under the Paris Agreement

At first, the carbon markets existed under the Kyoto Protocol, but it was replaced by the Paris Agreement in 2020. However, there is a big difference between the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement.

  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement describes the provision related to setting up a new carbon market.
  • Article 6.2 allows bilateral arrangements for the transfer of emissions reductions.
  • Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement is about a wider carbon market in which reductions can be bought and sold by anyone.
  • Article 6.8 talks about the non-market approaches available to countries to achieve targets.

Carbon Credit UPSC

Carbon Credit is a trending topic that can be asked in the Civil Services Exam, especially in the environment and ecology section. It is essential to understand the mechanism of carbon credits and their impact on the environment. UPSC aspirants must have a thorough understanding of the concept of carbon credits, including how they work, their benefits, and their limitations. As carbon credits play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, aspirants must be aware of their importance in mitigating climate change and achieving sustainable development.

Carbon Credit UPSC Questions

Question 1: What is a Carbon Credit? A) A permit to emit greenhouse gases B) A license to use renewable energy C) A certification of carbon neutrality D) A subsidy for reducing carbon emissions

Answer: A) A permit to emit greenhouse gases

Question 2: Which of the following is NOT a benefit of using Carbon Credits? A) Encourages the use of renewable energy B) Promotes energy efficiency C) Provides financial incentives for reducing emissions D) Increases the cost of doing business

Answer: D) Increases the cost of doing business

Question 3: Which international agreement deals with Carbon Credits? A) Kyoto Protocol B) Montreal Protocol C) Paris Agreement D) Vienna Convention

Answer: A) Kyoto Protocol

Question 4: Which agency in India is responsible for issuing Carbon Credits? A) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change B) Bureau of Energy Efficiency C) National Green Tribunal D) Central Pollution Control Board

Answer: A) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

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