Ways forward

Green budgeting process is a means and not an end. Green budget should also be considered an exploratory tool to help plan, design and coordinate or areas of synergies. The initial phase of green budgeting as a policy innovation may appear more of any accounting exercise but the impact of various departments introspecting as to what components of their schemes is contributing to environment is an important step forward towards more systematic and transformation ways budgeting as well as horizontal integration of climate action and sustainable development.

The process should be further buttressed with the following:

  • The process of green budgeting can be institutionalized, and the green budget can be tabled with the regular budget accompanied by a memo on the green budget.
  • A high-level government review can be institutionalized for green budgeting.
  • Governments can on an annual basis, regularly undertake the exercise of preparing green budget statements.
  • A peer-review mechanism can be instituted by constituting an expert committee with representatives from research organizations and universities who can evaluate provide inputs to the process of green budgeting.
  • A long-term tracking system can be developed which will enable officials to track expenditure along with SDG indicators. Subsequently, these can be tagged with SDGs to help in identifying gaps. This will inform the government can develop a plan to mobilize the resources from state finances, central finances, private and international finance.
  • Green budgeting activities would need to be strengthened by further capacity building programmes for officials from various departments to better plan, identify and map areas where the environment and SDGs can be better factored in the various schemes and programmes.
  • Further evolution of green budgets in subsequent years can also include aspects of assessments of programmes, net budgeting, other fiscal policy instruments, and financial planning.