MEDIA STATEMENT: Safeguard Mechanism Submission

11 October, 2022

It is critical that we reform the Safeguard Mechanism into a policy lever that is effective in constraining the carbon emissions of the biggest polluters in Australia.

The current governance is problematic because it allows for current and future facilities covered by the Mechanism to increase their baseline carbon emissions. This must stop if Australia is to reach its 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030.

My submission advises that the Mechanism must urgently be amended to include the following:

  1. Set a cumulative cap of 89 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per annum for facilities covered under the mechanism

  2. Restrict new entrants by ensuring the cumulative emissions cap includes any new facilities and projects.

  3. Reset baselines as of 1 July 2023 by reducing over-inflated current facility caps and aligning baseline targets with best-in-class emission intensity

  4. Increase decline rates to incentivise industry to decarbonise – recommend setting a ratchet mechanism of 7 per cent per annum minimum

  5. Reduce the designated large facility threshold of 100,000 tonnes per annum so participants do not fall out of the scheme as their emissions reduce

  6. Remove flexibility: Flexibility should only be extended to genuinely hard to abate sectors such as concrete and aviation

  7. Prevent backsliding: Baseline emissions targets must remain aligned with science and not be discretionary. They should only be altered in exceptional circumstances

  8. Strengthen compliance and enforcement to act as a strong deterrent to emitters failing to reduce their targets

  9. Increase integrity of offsets by preventing the ‘banking’ of credits and limiting the use of carbon credits to 5% of emissions per facility

  10. Legislative review of Safeguard Mechanism after 3 years to reflect on progress and make further modifications to ensure the minimum 43 per cent target is achieved by 2030

I welcome the Government’s consultation on the reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism and look forward to seeing the changes that are urgently needed to amend the scheme for a more effective national approach to emissions reduction.


For media requests call Tiffany Elvy on 0407 790 892