The federal Nationals leader says he’s sticking by the party’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, despite an internal push to scrap the policy.

David Littleproud, speaking after addressing the Nationals annual conference in Canberra, told reporters their last party room “proudly” supported net zero.

“We‘ll have a different net zero to even what the Morrison government had,” Mr Littleproud said, “because we’ve been able to convince the Liberal Party to come with us on this journey of nuclear energy.

“Whatever form that takes, I don’t think it that’s for politicians to decide. The market will decide that.”

But he made sure to point out the difference between the net zero target for the Nationals, and the one being put forward by Labor.

“The net zero commitment we’ve got at the moment is vastly different to what The National Party signed up to,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Labor’s net zero is a lot different, and we shouldn’t conflate the two.

“They‘re vastly different because they have accelerated that pathway from effectively 2050 to 2030. And that’s putting pressure on your energy building every day of the week.”

He said he and Opposition leader Peter Dutton are looking at nuclear to “add another tool to the toolbox” when it comes to net zero and energy discussions.

Speaking before the Nationals conference, Mr Littleproud conceded a number of women had left the party following the last federal election.

“While we held on to all our seats, there were clear signs that there were cohorts that left us and we’ve got to be honest, they were women,” he said in a speech earlier on Saturday.

“So what you’ll see as we go towards the next election is a real emphasis on what’s important to them, about a greater investment in regional health.”

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