Next year's New Zealand election looms as a brawl over climate policy after the opposition National party signaled stark disagreement with the government's emissions reduction plan.
On Monday, Jacinda Ardern's government released a plan four years in the making, from its introduction of the Zero Carbon Act in 2018.
That law created the independent Climate Change Commission (CCC) to advise on emissions budgets and proposals to cut greenhouse gas use, all which fed into $NZ2.9 billion ($A2.62 billion) worth of proposals revealed this week.
The government will offer a cash-for-clunkers to allow poorer Kiwis to trade in dirtier cars, plant native forest, invest in decarbonisation and fund research to reduce agricultural emissions as it attempts to stay true to its international climate pledges.
The plan has been panned by academics and Greenpeace for its timidity, and somewhat surprisingly, the National party for corporate handouts.
"The taxpayer shouldn't be subsidizing big corporates to make emissions reductions," opposition leader Chris Luxon said.
"Big corporates should be able to do that right now. They need to get ahead and get on with that program."
Mr Luxon says the plan contains "plenty of mush", pointing to an analysis by news outlet Stuff which revealed over half of the 284 "actions" in the plan were in fact "plans to make other plans".
However, there's no fight over the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Mr Luxon says National are "big big believers" in New Zealand's international obligations and the emissions budgets that will see emissions peak before 2025 and drastically decline over the next decade.
"We support the ends but we don't support the means," he said.
Mr Luxon supports a beefing up New Zealand's emissions trading scheme - which began in 2008 - as a major answer to the climate challenge, and has promised an alternative plan before the election, likely to be held in Spring 2023.
That election will also present a nuclear option for the opposition: the dissolution of Ms Ardern's climate infrastructure.
National supports the CCC but its most likely governing partner - the libertarian ACT party - does not, and Mr Luxon has not given an assurance it will stay should they win government.
ACT has ravaged the plan, calling it a "lolly scramble" and pledged to dissolve the climate body.
Current polls put National and ACT within reach of toppling Labour, which governs in majority but with the support of two Greens ministers outside cabinet.
In an awkward piece of power-sharing politics, climate change minister James Shaw - a Greens co-leader - has built the plan on behalf of the Labour government.
He denied it was a "Labour plan" but agreed it would have looked different if Labour was in minority and needed the Greens for support.
"I've delivered an emissions reduction plan on behalf of the government and it is a Labour government and so by definition, it has a Labour hue to it," he said.
"There are many initiatives in the emissions reductions plans that coincidentally look like Green Party policy."
Greens transport spokewoman Julie Anne Genter has attacked the policy, saying its "not a Green climate plan" and doesn't go far enough.
Australian Associated Press
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