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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.

​T​he safeguard threshold

The safeguard mechanism commenced​​ on 1 July 2016 and a​pplies to facilities that must report under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme and emit more than 100 000 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) covered emissions in a financial year. 

This extends to businesses across a broad range of industry sectors, including electricity generation, mining, oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, transport, and waste. 

Emissions baselin​es 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.

We will publish a list of all facilities covered under the safeguard mechanism, after emissions have been reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme for each financial year.

For more information see safeguard facility reported emissions.

Covered emissions

The safeguard mechanism applies only to covered emissions. Covered emissions are defined as scope 1 emissions, including direct emissions from fugitive emissions and emissions from fuel combustion, waste disposal and industrial process such as cement and steel making.

Some scope 1 emissions are not covered by the safeguard mechanism. These include:

  • legacy emissions from the operation of a landfill facility (that is, emissions from wa​ste deposited at the landfill before 1 July 2016),
  • emissions which occur in the Greater Sunrise unit area or Joint Petroleum Development Area, 
  • emissions from the operation of a grid-connected electricity generator in a year covered by the sectoral baseline, and 
  • emissions not covered under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008.  

Sectoral coverage​

The safeguard mechanism has been designed to accommodate the unique circumstances of the electricity generation, transport and waste sectors. 

Sectoral baseline: electricity generation

 A sectoral baseline of 198 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent will apply collectively to grid-connected generators until this baseline is exceeded.  Once the sectoral baseline is exceeded, individual baselines will apply to each generator. 

A sectoral approach has been adopted as the electricity generation sector behaves more like a single entity, where the energy produced is centrally coordinated to meet demand in real-time.

For more information see sectoral baseline​.

Transport ​

To accommodate interstate transport operations, transport businesses will have the option to define their facilities on a state or national basis.

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