The Albanese Government has adopted a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 on 2005 levels.
The Safeguard Mechanism is the primary tool that the Federal Government is going to use to reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s big industrial emitters, like large coal and gas mining projects as well as industries like cement and aluminium production.
What’s wrong with the Safeguard Mechanism?
The scale of proposed new and expanded coal and gas mining will make it almost impossible to actually achieve the goals set and more responsibility will then shift on to other sectors and the wider community in order to meet climate targets.
Furthermore, under the Safeguard Mechanism fossil fuel companies can just purchase carbon offsets, instead of making real emissions reductions. Offsets are highly problematic, and generally do not lead to permanent, secure reductions in emissions.
What can we do?
To avoid more devastating floods and fires, greenhouse gas emissions need to start dropping right now. For that to happen, the Safeguard Mechanism must make the big polluters do their fair share of reducing emissions.
Final decisions will be made on the Safeguard Mechanism reforms in the next few weeks. We urgently need to pressure the Albanese Government to make big polluters do their fair share by:
- Stopping new and expanded coal and gas projects
- Make existing coal and gas projects adopt all possible measures to reduce direct emissions immediately, and only allow carbon credit offsets as a last resort.