Gujarat launches country’s first emissions trading

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani here on the World Environment Day on Wednesday launched the country’s first emissions trading scheme (ETS) to encourage and incentivize the industrial units to cut air pollution.

The theme of the World Environment Day, 2019, was air pollution.

Under the scheme, the government will fix a cap on emissions as advised by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and then allow industries to buy and sell permits to maintain their emissions below the cap.

The Gujarat Pollution Control Board has started the scheme first in Surat as a pilot. A team of researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the Economic Growth Center at Yale University and others from The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), have devised the ETS.

According to the scheme, the GPCB will first define the total mass of pollution that can be released into the air over a certain fixed period by all industrial units together. This will be equivalent to the cap. The permits would then become units which could be bought and sold under the ETS. “This is like the commodities you trade on the national commodity exchange,” a senior GPCB official said.

Officials explained that the pollution board picked Surat since it is a densely-populated industrial centre and the textiles and dyeing houses there produce heavy air pollution. The ETS will be implemented in a phased manner across 350 industrial units in Surat.

According to GPCB Chairman Rajiv Gupta, around 150 industrial units are expected to trade on the national commodities exchange on July 1 as a test case. He added that from August, the ETS would come into effect for all industrial units in Surat.