Safeguard Mechanism

Emissions Reduction Fund safeguard for large emitters

We provide services under the Australian Government’s Safeguard Mechanism. This program makes certain that purchased emissions reductions, or successful ERF auction projects, are not offset by higher than business-as-usual levels.

The safeguard means that large emitters, approximately 140 organisations in Australia, stay within baseline levels. Those emitting in excess of 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually are covered under the safeguard. Together this accounts for about 50% of Australia’s emissions.

Covered entities

According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, covered entities include the following:

  • Corporations,
  • Partnerships,
  • Trusts,
  • Local councils.

Emissions must remain at or below established levels as per the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGER), and past reported data under the scheme.

Responsibility falls to those with operational control over facilities emitting over 100,000 tonnes per year. Baselines adhere to the highest levels reported for the period of 2009/2010 to 2013/2014, the minimum baseline being 100,000 tonnes CO2-e.

Emissions under the safeguard

The Safeguard Mechanism applies to Scope 1 emissions: direct greenhouse gas emissions, or those created as a direct result of an organisation’s activity. This includes greenhouse gas emitted through electricity generation (not electricity users).

How we can help with the program

Our highly experienced, NGER-registered auditors can assist your organisation with the Safeguard Mechanism program. This is just one of a range of ERF services we provide to businesses and councils.

Safeguard Mechanism administration

The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) administers the Safeguard Mechanism, as per the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, and amendments in the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Act 2014. For more on Safeguard Mechanism baselines and thresholds, go to the Clean Energy Regulator website.

Key dates for registration and reporting:

  • 1 July: start of the emissions reporting year,
  • 30 June: end of the emissions reporting year,
  • 31 August: registration applications for the Clean Energy Regulator due,
  • 31 October: annual emissions reports for the Clean Energy Regulator due.

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