The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) has welcomed the passing of amended Safeguard Mechanism legislation through the Australian Senate and House of Representatives today, marking an historic day for climate policy progress in Australia.

Following a torrid 12-18 months of debate over the policy, CMI recognised the strengthened legislation as a genuine springboard for accelerating climate action but emphasised that it must evolve over time and be accompanied by complementary policy measures in order to drive down emissions across the economy.

Welcoming the passing of the Bill, CMI CEO John Connor said:

“Today’s passing of the strengthened Safeguard Mechanism Bill comes after 10 years of political division and delay and marks an historic day for climate policy progress in this country.”

“The legislation now provides clearer guidelines for investors and business to assist investment in on-site decarbonisation, as well as emission reductions across the broader economy.”

“This is only a starting point though in urgently addressing industrial sector decarbonisation, and must be a springboard for greater action, as well as scaling to other sectors over time.”

“It also cannot operate in isolation. It must be accompanied by other policy measures to address Australia’s broader structural transition, such as the need for a formal independent transition authority and mandatory transition planning.”

“We must all now work to ensure the timely implementation of the Chubb Review recommendations to build investor and community confidence in the Australian carbon crediting framework. This is crucial not just for providing flexibility for business involved in genuine decarbonisation, but also for rewarding climate action in agriculture and other sectors.”

“The supply of Australian carbon credit units will not be a magic pudding of never-ending supply. In order to meet the growing demand from the Safeguard Mechanism and other sources, the ACCU scheme will require ongoing diligence in order to build integrity and scale.”

“There will be other key issues to monitor, including ensuring the appropriate implementation of transparency reforms recommended by the review. These must ensure integrity, but also not punish landholders managing projects in good faith. The reforms must also help build a national data platform of integrated carbon and environmental data to better guide climate and nature repair.”

“The Government, Greens and Independents should be congratulated for working to improve this Safeguard Mechanism legislation and creating momentum that we must now build on to achieve at least 50% emission reductions by 2030 and net zero, then negative emissions by 2050,” concluded Connor.

About the Carbon Market Institute

The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) is a member-based institute accelerating the transition towards a negative emissions, nature positive world. It champions best practice in carbon markets and climate policy, and its over 150 members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous organisations, legal, technology and advisory services, insurers, banks, investors, corporate entities and emission intensive industries. The positions put forward constitute CMI’s independent view and do not purport to represent any CMI individual, member company, or industry sector.

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