The next six weeks are critical for cutting emissions in Australia this decade.

The Albanese Government is rapidly pushing through changes to the Safeguard Mechanism which would be passed in March and take effect as soon as 1 July.

The Safeguard Mechanism places a cap on how much Australia’s biggest polluters can pollute. But it’s failing – in its first five years, emissions from gas and oil mining in Australia ballooned by 20%.

The Albanese Government’s proposed changes have dangerous loopholes, which let companies like Woodside, Santos and Glencore buy unlimited offsets and avoid actually cutting their emissions.

We need a much stronger Safeguard Mechanism now to crack down on polluters, make it tougher for new coal and gas to open and get Australia to its 43% target. We need to reach 43% fast, then raise our ambition to slash emissions even higher this decade. Otherwise, more extreme floods, fires, heatwaves and droughts will put all of our futures at risk.

Man sits atop burnt tractor in burnt forest in NSW after 2019/20 bushfires

Wytaliba, NSW, after the 2019/20 bushfires. Photo: Annette Ruzicka.

To deliver real climate action now, the Albanese Government must close the loopholes in its draft reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism. The government can pass most of its reforms without legislation, so it’s up to us to convince the government to act. We only have a few weeks. So​, here’s what we do.

We organise and we get active! We make our voices louder than the polluters and demand our government slashes pollution now.

The government is accepting public comments from now until 24 February. An impactful action we can take in that time is overwhelming the Prime Minister’s inbox with concerns and calls for a stronger Safeguard Mechanism. Send the pre-written message to the Prime Minister now.


Once public comments close, there is a crucial four-week period in February and March in which the government will finalise its draft reforms. Raising our voices and escalating our concerns during this period is critical, so we are hosting calling parties to inspire more people to act.

Together we’ll call thousands of people in the ACF community and patch them through to the offices of key government decision-makers, so we inundate them with calls for a stronger Safeguard Mechanism.

Calls to decision-makers are one of the most powerful ways to participate in Australian democracy – especially when there are quick decision timelines. RSVP to a calling party now in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or online and help maximise our impact.

Volunteers at a calling party

I'll come to a calling party

The climate crisis demands bold action now.

The coming weeks are a crucial opportunity to secure a stronger Safeguard Mechanism that will ensure big polluters cut their emissions this decade and a stronger platform to build from – so we can demand stronger targets, a stop to new coal and gas and more.

We are strong in numbers. Our voices can sway our government to be bolder.

Let’s seize the opportunity.

Gavan McFadzean

Climate Change and Clean Energy Program Manager, ACF