Bill Shorten will improve the Morrison government’s heavily criticized safeguard mechanism if he is voted to power
The Labor Party reportedly plans to set a national electric vehicle target of 50% new car sales by 2030, 50 per cent of the government’s fleet to be electric by 2025 and allowing companies to immediately deduct a 20 percent depreciation to buy EVs worth at least $20,000 for their fleets, as part of its climate change policy.
According to The New Daily, Bill Shorten will mandate a new regulation to control pollution on car retailers to achieve an average emission standard for light vehicles of 105g CO2/km, which is in line with American emissions standards, but will also check on coverage and the timeline to phase in the change instead of imposing it immediately.
Reportedly, if Labor wins the coming election, then Shorten will improve the Morrison government’s heavily criticized safeguard mechanism. The architecture will remain same, but a new pollution reduction requirement will be created for the cement, aviation, steel and aluminum, direct combustion, mining and gas, and the non-electricity energy sectors.
The safeguard mechanism currently applies to businesses with direct emissions of more than 100 kilo tons of carbon dioxide, but Labor’s policy plans to cut that threshold to 25 kilo tons, which means around 250 companies will be covered.
Reportedly, businesses will have to meet their declining baselines by either buying offsets to cover any difference, which will impose a cost on their operations, or by reducing their emissions to an agreed level.
Businesses will be allowed to earn credits by overachieving on their baselines. The credits can be used for sale in a trading scheme, which is expected to be linked with the electricity sector and will be covered by a separate regulatory regime.
Shorten said that Australians understand that if no step is taken on climate change, there will be more frequent and more prolonged droughts, dust storms, floods, and hail storms.