National Party playing 'politics' in supporting Zero Carbon Bill - Willie Jackson

Labour MP Willie Jackson says the National Party's support for the Zero Carbon Bill is just "politics" and an attempt to appease both farmers and urban voters.

The legislation was designed as a means to combat climate change by creating a legally-binding objective to limit global warming to no more than 1.5C with a net zero carbon approach. It will also establish a Climate Change Commission to help set other targets and provide advice.

It passed on Thursday with the support of all parties, except ACT. National announced its support, despite having issues with the legislation that it wants to iron-out if it comes into the Government next year.

"We have taken a bipartisan approach to climate change but we will continue to fight for the changes we think will make the law better," said National leader Simon Bridges. 

Bridges said should National be elected in 2020, it will be up to the Climate Change Commission to decide on the methane reduction target, continuing its pushback against the 24-47 percent reduction by 2050 in the current Bill. 

While National's bipartisanship has been welcomed by some - including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - Employment Minister Jackson says it's just politics.

"This lot were hammering us. All of a sudden they were on side," Jackson said on The AM Show on Friday.

"It is all politics. They are playing to the farmers. They also know they have a strong urban vote that they don't wanna ignore."

Jackson said National realised that many farmers and agriculture organisations had come to support the legislation and didn't want to be seen have been left out. He also noted that proud National Party supporter Mark Richardson liked the Bill.

Richardson said: "I do support this Bill. I support this Bill because it is completely toothless, it is more idealistic mumble jumbo." He went on to say that if the Government didn't keep to the targets, there were no consequences.

National Party MP Judith Collins has frequently expressed her dissatisfaction with the legislation and at one stage considered crossing the floor on the issue - meaning to oppose it despite her party's support.

But she told The AM Show that in the interest of "collective responsibility" and in knowing her party would introduce changes if elected, she decided to support it.

"My colleagues have put up seven amendments to the Bill, which we believe is deeply flawed on many levels. We have now committed to a 100-day programme and get the legislation fixed up. We will then be happy with it."

The Bill had nearly 11,000 written and oral submissions. The select committee heard from parents, students, scientists, farmers, academics, health professionals, activists, iwi, local government and many more.

The Bill's passing has been praised by several environment groups, including Forest & Bird, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace; and even DairyNZ said the bipartisan support "gives farmers certainty". The Prime Minister rose to say she was "really proud to stand in this House today for what is a historic moment".

"I think it is important, when we stand in these moments in time, to remember the reason why we are here today debating this issue in the first place," she said.

"We're here because our world is warming - undeniably, it is warming."