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MEDIA STATEMENT : IPCC's warning dire. Safeguard policy must ensure carbon emissions at peak






21 March 2023: The IPCC’S AR6 Report issued today is described as a ‘final warning’.  The dire findings show that climate impacts on people and ecosystems are already more widespread and severe than expected, and without stronger action, the planet is likely to surpass 1.5 degrees of warming within the next decade. In fact, on current high emissions pathways, we are on track for 3.5-5.7 degrees warming by the end of the century. This would be catastrophic.

There is still time to change this trajectory – but we must act quickly. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to address the climate crisis and secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.

Global carbon emissions must peak before 2025 to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. The safeguard mechanism is a powerful lever to achieve Australia’s emissions reductions – and within it, gross emissions must come down at an accelerating rate.

As a guiding principle the Safeguard Mechanism must ensure that emissions for the biggest emitters in the country have peaked. 


My amendment inserts that into the objects of the Act.  In practice what this means is that: 

  1. Gross emissions must decline to 2030 
  2. Any increases in production must be done more efficiently; and 
  3. Any new entrants must displace less efficient facilities or come in at Net Zero  


My second tranche of amendments deal with methane. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas 26-28 times more effective at trapping heat over the life of the methane and up to 80 times more dangerous in the first 20 years.


To that end the safeguard mechanism must enact global best practice in understanding our methane emissions, be more transparent at reporting them and set limits on the amount of methane that can be emitted by facilities. My amendments aim to: 

  1. Implement current global best practice thinking on monitoring, reporting and verifying methane emissions; and
  2. Establish best practice standards for methane emissions from gas and coal mines.  

We already have the solutions to fix this, but we need the political will and investment to do it now, and to accelerate this change.


Media Contact: Tiffany Elvy 0407 790 892