Risk versus Reward: The long term implications of the Safeguard Mechanism for the Agricultural Sector

Australia has pledged to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050. As such the push to reduce emissions across all sections will progressively increase over time. International pressure to introduce strict regulatory measures will intensify, particularly with agreements to join climate clubs as has been proposed by the Australian government in July 2023.

In Australia the regulatory response to reduce emissions to achieve these strict targets has been initiated in the Safeguard mechanism reforms. These reforms require 216 installations to reduce their emissions baselines over time. The requirement to reduce emissions is accompanied by a concession that allows these installations to surrender Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) to make up 30% of their emissions baseline. These ACCUs will predominately be supplied through the Carbon Farming Initiative which requires land managers to change their land use and management practices to store carbon or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This project assists both landholders and Safeguard Installations to make informed decisions about the risks and rewards associated with the Safeguard mechanism including considerations of projected impacts across the next 20 years.

Chief Investigators (QUT)

Project team

  • Joseph Macharia
  • Jack Mannion (Research Assistant)

Project partner

Project outputs


Cotton Plant