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07 March 2019


​On 7​ March 2019, amendments to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Safeguard Mechanism) Rule 2015 came into effect. These amendments apply from the 2018-19 safeguard compliance period, onwards. Tools and resources available on the Clean Energy Regulator website will be updated shortly to reflect the amendments.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances under the safeguard mechanism, please contact the Clean Energy Regulator.

​Emissions baselines represent the reference point against which future emissions performance will be measured under the safeguard mechanism. A safeguard facility ​​must keep its net emissions levels at or below its baseline.

There are four main types of emissions baselines:

  • Reported baseline—determined based on the historical high point of emissions reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme between 2009-10 and ​2013-14
  • Calculated baseline—based on an independently audited forecast of production and emissions intensity provided by the responsible emitter
  • Benchmark baseline—based on benchmark emissions intensities (that is, the best, least emissions intensive standard for production) and an independently audited forecast of production. A landfill-benchmark baseline will be based o​n a benchmark capture efficiency rate for non-legacy emissions, and
  • Production-adjusted baseline​based on actual production levels and the emissions intensity used to determine the calculated or benchmark baseline previously in effect. 

Both calculated baselines and benchmark baselines are determined using forecasts of production, and once they expire, can be replaced with a production-adjusted baseline that reflects actual production from the facility.

A facility must exceed the 100,000t CO2-e threshold to be covered by the safeguard mechanism. A baseline therefore cannot be set below this level.​

In some circumstances a facility covered under the safeguard mec​hanism may apply for a baseline variation.

A summary of all types of emissions baselines​

Baseline Criteria Determined by Duration Earliest start
​​​ DefaultDesignated large facility with no other type of baselineSafeguard ruleOngoing unless replaced by another baseline1 July 2016
ReportedNGER facilities with five years of data (2009-10 to 2013-14)Based on historic high pointOngoing unless replaced by another baseline1 July 2016
  • New facilities
  • Significant expansion
  • Inherent emissions Variability
  • Initial calculated (no longer available)
Upon application using independent assessment approachGenerally three years1 July 2016
SectoralGrid connected electricity generatorsSafeguard ruleUntil breached1 July 2016
Production-adjustedCalculated or benchmark baseline that has expiredUpon application previous baseline adjusted for actual productionOngoing unless replaced by another baseline1 July 2019
BenchmarkNew or significantly expanded facilities from 2020Best-practiceGenerally 3 years1 July 2020
Landfill-benchmarkLandfill facilities that exceed coverage thresholdUpon application using landfill baseline emissions formulaOngoing1 July 2020​​

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