The Senate crossbench has been left in the dark over whether Labor’s revamped safeguard mechanism will actually drive emissions down.
Concerns Labor’s proposed changes to the safeguard mechanism will prove fatally ineffectual have been fuelled by government officials’ refusal to confirm whether their own modelling shows the policy will compel the country’s biggest polluters to decarbonise.
On its face, the proposed scheme requires roughly 215 of Australia’s heaviest industrial emitters to cut emissions by 4.9% a year, which companies could conceivably achieve by making cuts onsite or buying carbon offsets.
But the absence of any cap on the number of carbon offsets that may be purchased for any one project, coupled with the stated unwillingness of the government to block new coal and gas ventures, has raised concerns the scheme will do little to incentivise any reduction in emissions.
Keep reading about the carbon credit debacle.
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