The Federal Government is currently consulting on a proposed approach to make changes to the Safeguard Mechanism. These changes could be passed in parliament as early as March and take effect as soon as 1 July.
The Safeguard Mechanism places a cap on emissions in line with Australia's climate targets from around. Sadly, in its first five years, emissions from coal and gas in Australia increased by 20%. And, there are currently more than 100 new coal and gas projects in the development pipeline in Australia. Those likely to go ahead this critical decade could generate enough emissions in 2030 for the coal and gas sector to exceed the Safeguard Mechanism’s entire emissions budget.
The changes currently proposed provide loopholes which would allow many fossil fuel companies to avoid cutting emissions, for example by purchasing unlimited offsets.
Australia needs a much stronger Safeguard Mechanism to cut our emissions and get to our target of 43% emissions reduction by 2030. In fact, we need a much higher reduction than 43% to avoid the worst impacts of climate change on us and the animals we love and need.
What we need is fossil fuel companies to stop producing coal and gas and:
- a Safeguard Mechanism that achieves genuine emission reductions; and
- a halt to new, high emitting coal and gas projects
The Climate Council has provided a great explanation on the Safeguard Mechanism and recommended improvements the government should make which is available here.
The Government is accepting public comments from now until 24 February. Add your details and comment before 22 February to be included in VfCA's submission to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water and be a voice for all animals.
What to include in your comment
You can say as much or as little as you would like.
You may wish to include:
- Why you want climate action and what it looks like eg. ending the burning of coal and gas in Australia because of the harm to Australia's wildlife, companion animals and livestock or the impact of increased risk of fire and flood on our animals
- How to make improvements to the Safeguard Mechanism to make it stronger eg. fossil fuel companies can't buy offset credits but must stop producing coal and gas
If you would like to get more technical, check out the Climate Council's Briefing Paper and make requests including that:
- the Safeguard Mechanism sends the right investment signal to industry and the proposed settings should be strengthened to clearly state that fossil fuel companies cannot purchase carbon credits unless they invest first in genuine cuts to their emissions at their project sites; or
the Safeguard Mechanism deals with proposed new fossil fuel projects by requiring that all new fossil fuel facilities should be required to account for all their emissions without reliance on Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs)
Please add your voice
Upon signing, we note that our volunteer Janet Berry may reach out to you if she needs further detail. Please let us know at [email protected] if you have any concerns.