Safeguard Mechanism is key towards Australia’s net zero goals— ACCI chief

Image credit: ACCI

Andrew McKellar, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), highlighted the significance of the passage of Safeguard Mechanism crediting legislation in parliament in achieving Australia’s emissions reduction goals. 

In a press release on Tuesday, Mckellar said the industry is keen to play its part in Australia’s mission towards lower carbon emissions, but the progress depends on clear regulatory frameworks, along with support from across the political divide.

“Past failure to deal with this reality has crimped certainty for industry and investors, and left our energy sector in disarray. Australian businesses and households are now paying the price,” McKellar noted. 

The federal government’s crediting and trading scheme is expected to deliver the flexibility for facilities covered under the mechanism to invest in low-emissions technologies at the optimum time, thus contributing their share in the transition towards a more sustainable future, McKellar said. 

The ACCI head also cited the potential of Safeguard Mechanism credits to encourage businesses to go beyond carbon-reduction targets. It would also allow others to buy credits in industries that have limited options for lower-emissions technology. 

“We must ensure flexibility in the system and the correct incentives to ensure facilities invest in low-emissions technologies to meet emissions reduction goals, rather than be forced to reduce their production,” McKellar said. 

“While questions remain regarding the treatment of emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries under the government’s current framework, these concerns should be resolved through parliamentary committees and the current consultation process. We strongly urge a bipartisan approach to energy policy to ensure Australia’s transition to a net-zero future can be achieved.”