Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Warning

Edge20202 Drought Landscape

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 6th Assessment Report (AR6) last week, on 20th March. This has been an eight-year assessment and involved over 250 climate scientists.

It was as bleak as can be expected and shows the catastrophic impact of increasing greenhouse gasses. The report discusses how we have already reached a 1.1 degrees Celsius increase in global warming and how this is affecting summer arctic ice coverage, ocean acidification and concentrations of Carbon Dioxide.

The focus isn’t just on the current impacts as it reveals the irreversible affects that can occur at as low as a 1.5-degree overshoot, including species extinction and loss of life.

The report is a must read and will be discussed over the next few weeks by many. Interestingly one of the first out of the gate was the UN, whose secretary general has urged nations to abandon the 2050 net-zero target for new stronger 2040 packs. Antonio Guterres is calling for developed nations to phase out coal by 2030 and block new oil or gas extraction. This may, in his opinion, hold us at the 1.5-degree warming cap.

The true test will be in COP28 in the UAE in November and December 2023. However, with the attendance of chair, H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, being the CEO of the 12th largest oil business will likely see a softening of approaches happening there!

What the AR6 does tell us is that we are close to the point of no return. The impacts of climate change are visible and require immediate action. We must react, or it will be irreversible.

Edge2020 have an eye on the energy market, enabling us to support price benefits as well as customer supply and demand agreements. Our clients rely on our experts to ensure they are informed, equipped, and ideally positioned to make the right decisions at the right time. If you could benefit from an expert eye on your energy portfolio, we’d love to meet you. Contact us on: 1800 334 336 or email:

The Safeguard Mechanism – the big stick came out

Carbon emissions safeguard mechanism

The Safeguard Mechanism is the legislation which came in in 2016, it was designed to reduce the emissions of the industrial sectors within Australia with targets, or baselines, capping the amount of emissions each facility can emit. The flaw was that the large industries could continue to re-set these baselines to ensure that as production increased, so did the baseline, and as such the emissions would also be increased without penalty. In the Financial year 2020 – 2021, these 215 large emitters made up 28% of Australia’s Carbon Footprint.

During the election campaign the Albanese government stood on a pledge to tighten the legislation around these 215 facilities to ensure that they were contributing to the now legislated target of a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030 (v’s 2005) and net zero by 2050.

Well yesterday, 10th January 2023, the government after extensive round tables, consultation papers and responses released their “draft” position paper. I use the word draft in quotes as the timeframe for change to this draft is less than likely. Responses are due by the end of February and it going in front of ministers in April to be enshrined with a 1st July 2023 start date. I think we can safely say the government have set their cap on their desired outcome.

So, what has been decreed. Well in brief, bar the reduction in baselines, 4.9% annually until 2030 and a review following that, and a cap and trade scheme to allow under baseline emitters to benefit from a new (non-financial!) ACCU called a Safeguard Mechanism Credit (SMC), the big changes and costs, will come to those emitters who will be eventually pushed onto non-site specific variables and forced to use “industry benchmarks”. They can apply for exemptions until 2030 but even these will be under tightened scrutiny and cherry picking your years of production will no longer be allowed. This will be a blow to some who rely on their baselines to reduce costs in those high production and high emitting years. These emitters will also no longer be able to sit on high reported, calculated or fixed baselines and will loose their site-specific variables by the end of this decade in an already reducing baseline decline rate.

To cap this cost, the government are proposing a ceiling for the ACCU market. They propose this to be set at $75/tCO2-e initially and increasing by CPI +2% annually after the first financial year, FY24. With spot ACCUs currently trading around $34.50 (source this is quite a ceiling indeed.

The proposal is also tightening the benefits which can be gained by the Emission Reduction Fund Projects, with no new projects to be sanctioned and no renewal of current projects. Even those in existence will only have a two-year grandfathered period before the abatement cannot be utilised within the accounts.

Interestingly though the parts I found most intriguing were the future papers we can expect. The Chubb review was, I can now assume, purposely vague on international credits and I believe this is due to the implication from the safeguard paper that we can expect a further review, likely to come out this year, which will look at the usage of “high quality international offsets” within the ANREU. These could then be rolled into many types of legislation for Carbon Neutral claims as per Climate Active current accreditation, including Safeguard legislation.

The other interesting area is around carbon leakage with an investigation to be undertaken if Australia should follow the EU and implement a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). It would basically create a plug to stop carbon leakage between countries. i.e. if you moved production to a country which was less ambitious in its carbon policies you would still have to pay the “leakage” of that carbon, or to import that substance, if it was not manufactured within a country with similar carbon ambitions, you pay the carbon cost to use it in Australia.

Overall, there is a lot to un-pick in this paper but following extensive consultations I think (bar the ACCU ceiling price) little will shock industry. It is a “hybrid” approach to get the government on track without losing industry along the way. There will be some winners, especially those on industry set baselines, initially able to bank SMCs, but overall the government have balanced a carbon abatement requirement without hampering industry too much. There will always be nay sayers who want more, say this isn’t enough and want to move quicker, but we cannot forget the economic climate we are in at the moment and the turmoil yet to unfold. I say hear ye hear ye to the DCCEEW, this one balances the tightrope of industry and climate ambitions well.

Kate Turner is Edge2020’s senior manager markets, analytics and sustainability. Through a passion that renewable energy solutions are key to any climate change solution, Kate supports our clients to manage their portfolios and any associated risk within traditional markets as well as complex renewable energy portfolios. Kate is hands on in procurement development and implementation for our clients and leads our market regulatory and advisory sustainability services. If your business is interested in wholesale or retail renewable PPAs we’d love to help you. Contact us on: 1800 334 336 or email:

Today is the day we are officially in debt to our ecosystem

Earth overshoot day

Today is earth overshoot day.

Being green isn’t just about renewable energy, cycling to work or using re-usable bags when you do your shopping. It is about being in a state of equilibrium with the planet that we inhabit and not emitting more carbon  dioxide than we can absorb.

When we are not in equilibrium, we “overshoot” our allowance and as with all debt we are borrowing from the future rather than living within our means.

Unfortunately, yesterday we officially spent our allowance and as of today (Friday 29th July 2022) we are in debt to our ecological budget for the rest of the year.

This has been gradually getting earlier and earlier and as you can see the National Footprint and Biocapacity accounts have shown we have been over budget for half a century.

Interestingly not every country overshoots at the same rate. If the planet lived like Australians overshoot day would fall on the 23rd March, but if we lived like Jamaica we would basically be in balance and not overshoot until December 20th. So surely if many countries can live in balance so can we?

The understanding of Climate Change and acknowledgement of action is now widely recognised, but I feel the sheer scale of the effect of inaction is yet to be fully understood.

Energy is one major way we can help ourselves reach the goal of balance in our biosphere.

Reducing the carbon output of our energy by 50% will move the overshoot day by over 3 months and by utilising existing energy efficient technologies in energy, buildings and industrial processes we can push this another 21 days.

The decarbonisation of our energy economy is not only becoming more crucial from a resilience to international cost pressure perspective, but is crucial to assisting us push the overshoot  date out,  to balance the budget of our biocapacity by not  ‘overspending’.

Edge2020 provides energy management and advisory services to buyers and sellers of physical and financial energy products. We specialise in electricity, gas, renewable, environmental, and carbon products. Edge2020 can help ensure you achieve your business sustainability goals by supporting you with strategies that focus on minimising consumption and responsible purchasing of renewable energy. Reach out to our passionate team for support to improve your sustainability outcomes. email: