Safeguard Mechanism

The Albanese Labor Government knows that strong action is needed to tackle the climate crisis. That is why one of our first actions in government was to legislate a target of 43 percent emissions reduction by 2030, and net zero by 2050. 

Reducing emissions isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for the economy – and for ensuring industry and business can compete in a decarbonising world.

This is why having a limit on emissions from Australia’s biggest emitters – the Safeguard Mechanism - is so important. We're not going to get emissions down as a country, unless we reduce the emissions from our 215 biggest emitters.

The Albanese Government’s reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism are sensible yet ambitious and the final design comes after eight months and three rounds of consultation to get the design right.

The biggest emitters will have strong incentives to keep their emissions under a limit (or ‘baseline’), with the creation of Safeguard Mechanism Credits (SMCs), which reward abatement below a facility’s target.  

Flexibility is critical to the reforms because we understand that not every facility will be able to reduce emissions in the same way – that’s why it is critical that businesses can access offsets (including ACCUs and SMCs) as well as deploying technology to reduce their actual emissions.

By implementing the recommendations from the Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), led by former Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb AC., we have ensured that ACCUs have integrity.

Our reformed Safeguard Mechanism has accounted for potential new entrants, as well as increased or decreased production at existing facilities. With all of that factored in, we will still achieve over 200 million tonnes of abatement. This is equivalent to taking two thirds of Australia’s cars off the road between now and 2030!

This is a scheme that all Australians can get behind, to be part of an ambitious emissions reduction project, requiring the country’s biggest emitters to systematically reduce their emissions, and to join us on our path to net zero.