Key Points:

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has lashed National's decision to axe a 15-year $1 billion household insulation scheme set up as part of emissions trading legislation.

The policy, which the Government agreed to in return for the Greens' support for the legislation, is due to start next year and will be paid for through profits recycled from state-owned power companies as a result of the emissions trading scheme (ETS).

National's environment spokesman Nick Smith yesterday told Radio New Zealand that National had never agreed to the insulation programme and would scrap it if it became government.

Ms Fitzsimons today attacked that position as well as National's overall record on climate change.

"I'm absolutely stunned Nick Smith wants to take away a fund to make New Zealand homes warm and dry and energy efficient and give them decent heating," she said.

"It's a fund that has a huge return on investment if you want to look at it financially. It will halve child asthma to insulate those homes, it will help older people with arthritis and rheumatism."

National has said it will alter the ETS if it wins the election, but Ms Fitzsimons said it had failed to detail exactly how.

"Every single practical measure to reduce emissions has been opposed by National."

She said some climate change measures proposed by National such as subsidies for electric cars were so long-term they would take more than a decade to have an effect.

The Government had investigated how quickly it could get electric cars in New Zealand and the best case estimates were 5 per cent of the fleet by 2020.

"They will be new cars, they will be expensive cars and will only be afforded by those on high incomes.

"So what National is saying is they are going to take away the basic needs of low and middle income people and subsidise electric cars for those that can afford them."

Climate Change Minister David Parker said in August the $1 billion fund would be targeted according to energy needs and income.

- NZPA