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.
The application form and annexures required to apply for a calculated baseline are available on the
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme forms and resources.
Calculated baseline application guidance is available to assist responsible emitters understand their obligations and the application and assurance requirements.
Applicants are encouraged to contact the Clean Energy Regulator on 1300 553 542 or via
email, to discuss their application in advance of submission.
Calculated baselines are intended for facilities that do not have sufficient historical emissions data to make a reported baseline, or for which historical emissions may be a poor indicator of future emissions.
A calculated baseline will remain in place for a standard three year period (unless the facility is defined as a ‘large new facility’, in which case the calculated baseline remains in place for a five year period).
A responsible emitter may apply for a calculated baseline for facility if it meets one or more of the specified eligibility criteria:
Responsible emitters, with facilities that exceeded their baselines in the first year of the safeguard mechanism (2016–17), were able to apply for a calculated baseline under the initial calculated baseline criteria. The final date applications could be made was 31 October 2017. See
section 26 of the Rule for the full initial calculated baseline criteria.
A responsible emitter may apply for a calculated baseline under the new facility criteria where there is insufficient historical data for the Clean Energy Regulator to make a baseline determination. These facilities are likely to be new facilities that are still ramping up production. During the ramp up phase, historical emissions are often a poor guide to future emissions levels.
An application for a calculated baseline under the new facility criteria can be submitted when covered emissions have exceeded, or are reasonably expected to exceed 100,000 t CO2-e in the first year of the calculated baseline.
If a reported baseline or a calculated baseline has previously been made in relation to the facility, the new facility criteria will not be met.
A calculated baseline made under the new facility criteria must commence no later than 1 July 2019. From 1 July 2020, new facilities can apply for a benchmark baseline.
An application under the new facility criteria must be accompanied by an independent audit report providing assurance of the forecast production and emissions intensity and that the new facility criteria have been met.
section 23 of the Rule for the full new facility criteria.
Facilities in the natural resources sectors can apply to have their baselines increased to account for inherent emissions variability associated with the extraction of a natural resource or reserve, such as minerals, oil or gas.
Some operations in the mining and oil and gas sectors can have highly variable emissions intensity, particularly the fugitive emissions associated with resource extraction. Further, resource grades are highly variable. Mines tend to move from higher to lower grade ores in the natural progression of operations, so that emissions may rise even while production remains constant.
To accommodate this variability, affected facilities can apply for a calculated baseline under the inherent emissions variability criteria. Facilities in the natural resources sectors may apply for up to two calculated baselines in total.
A calculated baseline made under the inherent emissions variability criteria must commence no later than 1 July 2024.
An application under the inherent emissions variability criteria must be accompanied by an independently audited report providing assurance of the forecast production and emissions intensity and that the inherent emissions variability criteria have been met.
section 25 of the Rule for the full inherent emissions variability criteria.
To support business growth, a responsible emitter can apply to have an existing baseline permanently increased if the facility has undertaken a significant expansion.
Significant expansion is defined as either an increase in production capacity greater than 20 per cent for an existing product or the production of a new significant product, that results from the installation of new plant or equipment.
An application for a calculated baseline under the significant expansion criteria can be made when a facility has exceeded or reasonably expects to exceed its baseline due to a significant expansion before 1 July 2020. From 1 July 2020, significantly expanded facilities can apply for a benchmark baseline.
The baseline is calculated for the entire facility, not just for the emissions associated with the significant expansion.
An application for a calculated baseline under the significant expansion criteria must be accompanied by an independent audit report providing assurance of the forecast production and emissions intensity and that the significant expansion criteria have been met.
24 of the Rule for the full significant expansion criteria.
Calculated baselines are set using an independently audited forecast of production and emissions intensity. The baseline is calculated by multiplying forecast production by the forecast emissions intensity of that production (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2-e) per unit of production).
An application for a calculated baseline must be completed by the
responsible emitter for the facility, using the form approved by the Clean Energy Regulator. If an application for a calculated baseline is made by a person other than the responsible emitter for the facility, the application will be invalid. The application must also be signed by an executive officer of the responsible emitter.
Calculated baselines are determined using forecast production and emissions data (i.e. not actual data). The production data the responsible emitter is able to rely on is limited by the timing of their application.
If the responsible emitter wishes to rely on data from the year with the highest level of the primary production variable to set the baseline, then they will need to make the application by the relevant deadline (as illustrated below).
All calculated baseline applications must be valid and complete, and accompanied by an audit report that meets the requirements of section 28 of the Rule before being submitted to the Clean Energy Regulator.
The Clean Energy Regulator will not accept incomplete applications and applicants will be notified accordingly.
Incomplete applications may be resubmitted once complete, however the date the application is taken to be received will be the date the
complete application is submitted, not the date the original incomplete application was submitted. This may have implications for the baseline setting year under section 27(1)(c) of the Rule.
The Clean Energy Regulator aims to provide adequate notice to applicants who submit an incomplete application to allow them to resubmit a complete application before an applicable deadline – but cannot guarantee this will be the case, especially for applications submitted within two business days of the deadline. Responsible emitters are encouraged to contact the Clean Energy Regulator if they need assistance well before the applicable application deadline.
The application deadlines apply for all calculated baseline applications, regardless of which criteria the application is made under.
Please note that deadlines which fall on a weekend or public holiday may vary in accordance with the
Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
Responsible emitters wishing to apply for a calculated baseline should contact the Clean Energy Regulator on 1300 553 542 or email
Reporting for a copy of the calculated baseline application form.
The Clean Energy Regulator will take all reasonable steps to ensure a decision is made on an application within 60 days of a complete application being submitted.
Before submitting an application for a
calculated baseline, it is recommended that responsible emitters familiarise themselves with the
Rule, specifically the calculated baseline eligibility criteria and legislated application deadlines. Responsible emitters must also ensure all documentation requirements including audit and assurance are completed prior to submitting an application. For more information about the application requirements see the
calculated baseline application guidance.
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