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06 May 2019


Important information for responsible emitters

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Safeguard Mechanism) Rule 2015 has recently been amended to include prescribed production variables and default emissions intensities in Schedules 2 and 3 of the Safeguard Rule.

Applications can now use the prescribed production variables and default emissions intensities.

Applications for calculated and production adjusted baselines that commence 1 July 2018 may be submitted up until, and including, 15 April 2020 for facilities with a declared multi-year period covering 2018–19 and 2019–20.

​Emissions baselines represent the reference point against which emissions performance will be measured under the safeguard mechanism. A safeguard facility must keep its net emissions levels at or below its baseline.

There are four main types of emissions baselines:

  • Reported baseline—determined based on the historical high point of emissions reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme between 2009–10 and 2013–14. Reported baselines will cease on 1 July 2020. Facilities will need to apply for a different type of baseline.
  • Calculated baseline—determined based on an independently audited forecast of production and either forecast emissions intensity provided by the responsible emitter or the default emissions intensity value.
  • Production-adjusted baseline​determined based on actual production levels. A production adjusted baseline can either be a fixed baseline based on actual production during the calculated or benchmark baseline period, or annually adjusting based on actual production in that year.
  • Benchmark baseline—based on benchmark emissions intensities (that is, the best, least emissions intensive standard for production) and an independently audited forecast of production. A landfill-benchmark baseline will be based on a benchmark capture efficiency rate for non-legacy emissions.

Both calculated baselines and benchmark baselines are determined using forecasts of production, and can be replaced with a production-adjusted baseline that reflects actual production from the facility.

A facility must exceed the 100,000t CO2-e threshold to be covered by the safeguard mechanism. A baseline cannot be set below this level.​

In some circumstances a facility covered by the safeguard mechanism may apply for a baseline variation.

A summary of all types of emissions baselines​

Baseline Criteria Determined by Duration Earliest start
​​​ DefaultDesignated large facility with no other type of baselineSafeguard RuleOngoing unless replaced by another baseline1 July 2016
ReportedNGER facilities with five years of data (2009–10 to 2013–14)Based on historic high point Cease on 1 July 20201 July 2016
  • Transitional (from 1 July 2018)
  • New facilities
  • Inherent emissions variability
Upon application using independent audit approachGenerally three years1 July 2016
SectoralGrid connected electricity generatorsSafeguard RuleUntil breached1 July 2016
Production-adjustedExisting or expired calculated or benchmark baseline (not required if applying for an annually adjusting baseline using default emissions intensity values)Upon application using actual productionOngoing unless replaced by another baseline1 July 2018
BenchmarkNew or significantly expanded facilities from 2020Best-practiceGenerally three years1 July 2020
Landfill-benchmarkLandfill facilities that exceed coverage thresholdUpon application using landfill baseline emissions formulaOngoing1 July 2020​​

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