ATSE welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s consultation on reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism to assist industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to meet Australia’s commitment net zero emissions by 2050.
While the Safeguard Mechanism has been in place since July 2016, it has not been impactful in reducing carbon emissions. ATSE agrees that reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism requires robust reforms to contribute to the effort to reach net zero. ATSE also makes the following recommendations to improve the Safeguard Mechanism:
Recommendation 1: Permit the purchase of international carbon credit units for compliance under the Safeguard Mechanism, provided they are audited to the same standards as Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), pending the ACCU reforms.
Recommendation 2: Allow some tolerance for higher emissions from existing facilities under the Safeguard Mechanism, while providing co-investment for efficiency upgrades.
Recommendation 3: Provide comprehensive and publicly available independent auditing, using consistent methods, for facility-specific emissions.