National leader Simon Bridges has written to the Government offering to work with it on establishing an independent climate change commission.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw earlier this month launched consultation on the Government's Zero Carbon Bill, which would establish an independent climate change commission tasked with providing advice and holding governments to account for progress on climate change issues.

Speaking at Fieldays at Mystery Creek today, Bridges said he had written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Shaw offering to work with them on the commission.

"Long-lasting change requires broad and enduring support, so I want to work with the Government to make meaningful bipartisan progress on climate change.


"This will be challenging and require compromises on both sides. But the prize is too great not to try, and the consequences on our economy, jobs and the environment are too serious if we don't do so responsibly," he said.

"I am confident that we can work constructively together to establish an enduring non-political framework for all future governments when considering climate change issues."

Bridges said National wanted sensible and practical solutions, not "extreme policies that would damage the economy and unnecessarily drive up costs for Kiwi households".

Under Shaw's Zero Carbon Bill, the commission will advise the Government on emissions budgets, areas of the economy to focus on, and any wider issues related to climate change.

But the commission won't make any decisions itself.

Currently, decisions on climate change policy are made by the Government with the support of advice from officials, with new laws and reforms subject to the parliamentary process.

In April Shaw announced an Interim Climate Change Committee to begin work on transitioning New Zealand to a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

It is also looking at how agricultural emissions should be managed.


In his speech, Bridges said the lack of mitigation options for farmers meant the only likely behaviour change would be the culling of herds.

He was optimistic about the sector's ability to become less carbon intensive in future and called for the Government to work with it to develop practices and technology to improve its environmental footprint.