Climate Council celebrates strengthened Safeguard Mechanism
Yesterday's historic agreement between Labor and Greens will deliver the first legislation in a decade that will regulate climate pollution.
The Climate Council says the significantly strengthened Safeguard Mechanism will drive down emissions from Australia’s 215 biggest industrial polluters, and make it more difficult for new coal and gas projects to be approved.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. They provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council CEO said: “This will be the Federal Parliament’s first reform to genuinely cut pollution in a decade."
“The Climate Council has been meeting with politicians across the Parliament to provide reliable, evidence-based information in advocating for a strengthened Safeguard Mechanism that will result in genuine emissions reductions."
The agreed Safeguard Mechanism reform package incorporates key improvements the Climate Council has advocated for, including:
- Capping total emissions under the Safeguard Mechanism to ensure new and expanded fossil fuel projects can’t blow this carbon budget out and drive up national emissions
- Making new gas facilities fully accountable for their emissions from day one, so they are not forcing other future-focused industries to make even deeper cuts to their emissions
- Subjecting any new project that would add significantly to emissions under the Safeguard Mechanism to a rigorous assessment and acting on the findings of this
- Ensuring public funding through the Powering the Regions Fund is not directed to coal and gas projects and only supports future-focused industries.
- Sending a clear signal that big polluters must genuinely cut their emissions, not just rely on offsets to account for their pollution.
"We welcome some of our suggestions being included. This proves how important and powerful a community-funded and independent climate organisation can be," McKenzie said.
Once a stronger Safeguard Mechanism has passed both houses of Parliament, and with the law due to kick in from 1 July this year, the focus will shift to improving other important national climate policies.
“The Safeguard Mechanism is just one weapon in the war to drive down Australia’s emissions,” Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said.
"We need to throw the whole arsenal at tackling harmful climate change."