RS passes ‘futuristic’ Energy Conservation Bill to further regulate carbon emissions

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Source: The post is based on the article “RS passes ‘futuristic’ Energy Conservation Bill to further regulate carbon emissions” published in The Hindu on 13th December 2022

What is the News?

The Rajya Sabha has passed the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill,2022.

Note: Lok Sabha has already passed this Bill in August 2022.

What are the key highlights of the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill,2022?

The Bill amends the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 to empower the central government to specify a carbon credit trading scheme. 

Designated consumers may be required to meet a proportion of their energy needs from non-fossil sources.

The Energy Conservation Code for buildings will also apply to office and residential buildings with a connected load of 100 kilowatt or above.

Energy consumption standards may also be specified for vehicles and ships.

What are the key issues with the Bill?

Firstly, Carbon credit trading aims to reduce carbon emissions, and hence, address climate change. The question is whether the Ministry of Power is the appropriate Ministry to regulate this scheme or should it be the Ministry of Environment.

Secondly, the Bill does not give clarity on how carbon credit certificates will be traded, or who will regulate such trading.

Thirdly, the Same activity may be eligible for renewable energy, energy savings, and carbon credit certificates. The Bill does not specify whether these certificates will be interchangeable.

Fourthly, meeting non-fossil energy use obligations may adversely impact the competitiveness of the industry.

Fifthly, the bill proposes only five representatives of the States, and it means that a majority of the States would not be able to register their opinion in the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

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