Farmers concerned reliance on offsets could erode integrity of Safeguard Mechanism and Australia’s net zero commitment

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Media Release by Farmers for Climate Action

Farmers for Climate Action welcomes many aspects of Safeguard Mechanism changes proposed today by Climate Change Minister, Chris Bowen, but has concerns about unlimited credits and land use.

“Reducing the baseline emissions of companies covered by the safeguard mechanism by 4.9% a year to 2030 is a positive step and delivers on the spirit of what the Government promised in the election campaign,” FCA Strategy Director, Cambell Klose said.

“However, allowing companies to use unlimited carbon credits to ‘offset’ their emissions fails to reduce carbon emissions, and could see a perverse outcome of carbon crops taking over too much food-producing land if the price of carbon credits rises steeply.

“This is compounded by the fact the Chubb Review into Australia’s carbon credits skated over serious concerns about the integrity of some of Australia’s carbon credits.

“The climate won’t be helped by creating flimsy carbon reductions which aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

“A limit on the amount of carbon credits each company can use to ‘offset’ emissions, which is focussed only on hard-to-abate sectors, would be a sensible step towards genuine emissions reduction. The best place to stop emissions is at the source.

“We need to stop digging up and burning fossil fuels and focus on a rapid and orderly change to a renewable energy energy power grid, as well as investing in the electrification of industry as quickly as possible.”