The Zero Carbon Bill methane target "stuffs the Ag sector", and the Essential Freshwater package is an "uncosted calamity of a policy" according to Todd Muller.

National's primary industries spokesman took to Twitter to criticise the Government's reforms, saying he trusted farmers rather than Environment Minister David Parker or Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

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Muller told The Country's Andy Thompson that he "absolutely" stood by his tweet, as it was "appalling policy" to dump the Essential Freshwater package on farmers with no data, evidence, or time to reflect on what it meant.


"No wonder the industry and the sectors have reacted like they have".

Muller said Peters' stance on the Zero Carbon Bill was "bizarre".

"Yes they signalled in their coalition agreement with the Government that they'd be open to a Zero Carbon Bill, but I was stunned - and remember I was Climate Change spokesperson at the time - when they put this range of minus 24 to minus 47 on the table".

The Bill's original methane targets remained at 24-47 per cent below 2017 levels by 2050.

This was despite intense lobbying for the targets to be fixed, not at a range, but at either 24 or 47 per cent.

Listen below:

"Massive destocking" was needed to try and achieve the top end of the range by 2050, as the technology to combat methane emissions would not yet be available said Muller.

"The idea that in that short of timeframe we will have got technology that reduces methane to that extent I think is ludicrous".

With methane, New Zealand should keep an eye on what other countries were doing before rushing ahead in this "highly competitive trading world", said Muller.


"It is not appropriate for us to run down a particular avenue and put huge cost and stress on our farm producers, only to find that no one else does it ... that will put us at a severe disadvantage".

New Zealand should also look into genetic engineering and the advances in GMO grasses said Muller.

"You can't say that climate change is the most important moral issue of your time and then close the door to any scientific solution that might help you solve the problem".

Also in today's interview: Muller talked about the efficiency of New Zealand's food producers and National's position on the Zero Carbon Bill.