The BGA Australia Team, led by Managing Director Fergus Hanson, wrote an update to clients on efforts by the Australian government to reform the Safeguard Mechanism to help achieve Australia’s emissions targets.


  • Australia’s Labor government is consulting with the private sector on options to reform the Safeguard Mechanism — a key element of the government’s climate policy.
  • The Safeguard Mechanism provides a legislated framework that limits the emissions of around 215 large industrial facilities that contribute about 28 percent of national emissions. Any facility that emits more greenhouse gases than allowed by their baseline is required to reduce its emissions.


  • The Safeguard Mechanism will be reformed to help achieve Australia’s emissions targets. Australia has committed to reducing national emissions to 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. These targets will likely be enshrined into law in September.
  • Major businesses and industry groups have backed the proposed changes. However, stakeholders will be challenged to reach an agreement on key details, particularly on where to set baselines and the pace of emissions cuts.


  • Emissions-intensive, trade-exposed facilities should engage in the consultations. Businesses have until late September to submit their feedback.
  • Impacted businesses will be expected to lower their net carbon emissions each year, with baselines gradually reduced over time. Companies should look for opportunities in low-emissions technology funding and carbon-credit trading as the government advances its climate agenda.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in Australia as they occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Australia Managing Director Fergus Hanson at