AUSTRALIA’S big polluters are on notice to pull their weight on emissions reductions, as the Federal Government has today announced an overhaul to the Safeguard Mechanism.
The Climate Council welcomes the Federal Government’s focus on stronger penalties for polluters as a top priority for 2023, saying ‘there is no time to waste’.
Dr Jennifer Rayner, Head of Advocacy at the Climate Council says: “For too long, major polluters like multinational coal, oil and gas giants have had a free ride on their harmful emissions. This must stop.
“Cutting down the artificially high caps on carbon pollution given to these corporations by the Morrison Government is a welcome step to kickstart emissions reduction. Capping the total emissions which can be produced by facilities in the Safeguard Mechanism is also important for driving towards net zero.
“However, allowing facilities in the Safeguard Mechanism to use cheap and easy offsets to write off all of their emissions will send completely the wrong signal. This will simply incentivise Australia’s heavy industry to engage in tricky carbon accounting to cover up pollution as usual instead of investing in genuine transformation.
“If this issue is not fixed, big industrial polluters like Woodside, Santos and Chevron will continue to rake in eye-watering profits while worsening climate change, which is supercharging the floods and fires that have ravaged communities across Australia and the world in recent years,” Dr Rayner added.
The Climate Council is calling for a strong cap on the use of offsets within a reformed Safeguard Mechanism.
Major global economic players and Australia’s key trading partners are all now working to cut emissions. Setting clear requirements for big polluters to genuinely cut their emissions each and every year will help our industries thrive in a future where net zero is business as usual.
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