March 27, 2023

Safeguard Mechanism amendments welcomed

27 March 2023: Climate action group Australia welcomes the reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism that will undermine the viability of new gas and coal projects and help cut climate pollution.

Today’s announcement of a deal from Greens leader Adam Bandt included a hard cap on emissions, net zero requirements for Beetaloo basin gas as well as new gas fields for export, and ensuring public money doesn’t flow to fossil fuel companies.

350 Australia CEO Lucy Manne says: “These reforms are a significant step towards stopping new and damaging fossil fuel projects in Australia like the Beetaloo basin gas fields.

“A hard cap on pollution, adding in a pollution trigger and making coal and gas companies bear the cost of their damaging projects will all make it harder for new gas and coal projects to get off the ground. This is good news for the communities who’ve been fighting to protect their land and water from gas fields and for the climate.

“Last week’s IPCC report contained the latest, and final, warning from climate scientists that we cannot have new coal and gas and that we must start phasing out these polluting industries.

“Today’s announcement is welcome progress and the Albanese Government must use their powers to ensure new coal and gas projects cannot go ahead. This means continuing to fix our climate laws and ending public subsidies for fossil fuels.

“Communities right across Australia will keep fighting to put an end to damaging fossil fuel projects, because whether the coal, oil or gas are burnt here or overseas, they all contribute to worsening floods, fires and droughts.

“We welcome the news that the Powering the Regions fund won’t be used for coal and gas projects, ruling out its use for wasteful spending on expensive, unproven carbon capture and storage which we know won’t deliver real cuts to pollution.

“We congratulate the parties who have negotiated these amendments.