18 Jun 2018

'The science is clear - climate change is real' - National

9:43 am on 18 June 2018

National Party leader Simon Bridges says his party has offered bipartisan support to a climate commission for "the right reasons" but he will not commit to following its recommendations should he regain government.

Simon Bridges in the RNZ Auckland studio for an interview on Morning Report.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Speaking to RNZ's Morning Report Mr Bridges said despite departing from former National leader Bill English's stance, who did not see the importance of a Climate Change Commission, he had support from his wider party.

"This is about doing the right thing now.

"I think the truth is that there will be a range of views... There's a very strong view that this is all bogus. I don't share that view. The science is clear - climate change is real.

"But whether you think it's all bogus or if you think it's a significant long-range issue that we need to deal with, we're going to be practical, sensible and solutions orientated."

He would not guarantee following recommendations of the commission should National regain government.

"What I am committing to is that we will sign up to an independent, non-political climate commission."

"It was not a move to woo the Green Party should they need to form government in the future.

It was crucial to ensure correct processes were in place so the commission was guided by all stakeholders, Mr bridges said.

"You would want not just environmental expertise, which is critically important, [but] you would also want economic expertise on that and you'd want to be considering not only the environmental impacts but the economic impacts."

He acknowledged that minister for climate change James Shaw and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had ensured it would not be like Rogernomics - the neoliberal economic policies pursued by the Fourth Labour Government and its Finance Minister Roger Douglas.

"We're not going to veer to the extremes that mean really dramatic effects on our economy and huge costs on households."

Mr Bridges said his party wanted to be science-based.

"If you look at that, I think there is a consensus, scientifically, that methane and short-lived gas is very different and has less of an affect long term than Co2, so we would want that recognised."

He did not want to punish the dairy industry which he described as "most efficient" producers in the world.