James Shaw burns Simon Bridges in climate change speech

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has burned National leader Simon Bridges, accusing him of spreading "fear and misinformation".

In a scathing speech at the Green Party's annual meeting, Shaw said Bridges was guilty of "desperate" and "dangerous" climate change denial.

"I believe that the gravest danger we face right now is the narrative that's being spun by Simon Bridges and others - that it's not such a big deal. That we don't need to change anything. That half a percent more of economic growth is a more important concern than staving off more epic droughts and encroaching oceans," Shaw said.

"The new climate change deniers are using fear to their advantage. Everything Simon Bridges is doing right now is about spreading fear and misinformation.

"He figures it worked for Trump. It worked for Brexit. It worked in Australia. He figures it'll work here too. But we have another story to tell."

In May, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick attempted to move a motion to declare a climate emergency, but that was shut down by the National Party.

Bridges has previously said that while he supports taking climate change seriously, that doesn't mean calling it a "climate emergency" is necessary.

"I take climate change seriously and that is why we have been working with the Government on what they are doing, but to have a climate emergency, as they are called, it is simply politics," he told The AM Show in June.

Shaw says this is inaccurate and warns that failing to tackle climate change will lead to environmental disaster.

"Calling this a crisis, calling this an emergency, isn't alarmism - it's a description. It's a statement of fact," he said.

"To suggest this isn't a crisis, isn't an emergency, is at best uninformed, and at worst misleading."