Safeguard Mechanism – COVID19 related transition

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction has amended the Safeguard Rule to extend the 2018-19 to 2019-20 transition period, giving Safeguard facilities an additional year to apply for a transitional calculated baseline. The amendments:

  • give facilities the option to remain on reported baselines in 2019-20 and 2020-21 (reported baselines previously expired at the end of 2019-20);
  • allow facilities to use site-specific values (production variables and emissions intensity values) for calculated baselines that commence in 2020-21;
  • delay the application of benchmark (best practice) baselines for new facilities by one year, until 1 July 2021; and
  • allow facilities to apply to the Clean Energy Regulator to extend multi-year monitoring periods that end in 2019-20 by one year.

In response to submissions received during consultation, an additional amendment (Item 16 of the instrument) has been made to:

  • allow facilities with calculated baselines that expired on 30 June 2019 to continue to be subject to those baselines for the 2019-20 year.

Section 27 deadlines remain unchanged to ensure calculated baselines are set using audited forecasts and not historical production and emissions levels. Some facilities may wish to move ahead with baseline applications before 31 July 2020. We encourage such facilities to engage with the Clean Energy Regulator to ensure baseline application requirements are met.

These amendments do not affect the requirement for facilities to keep net emissions below baseline levels, including in 2019-20.

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Safeguard Mechanism) Amendment (Extended Transition) Rule 2020 and Explanatory Statement can be found here. A compilation version of the Safeguard Rule (that integrates the changes from the amendment instrument with the existing Safeguard Rule) will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation in the coming week. These amendments take effect from today (12 May 2020).

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