Australia

The prime minister has again defended Australia's climate record: 'We're doing our bit'

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen inspecting burnt out property during a visit to the bushfire affected area of Binna Burra. Source: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again dismissed claims his government's lack of action on climate change has heightened Australia's bushfire risk.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says domestic climate action has no bearing on individual fires raging across Australia.

Mr Morrison again defended his government's action on climate change as blazes burn across the nation during an early and savage start to the fire season.

"To suggest that with just 1.3 per cent of global emissions that Australia doing something differently - more or less - would have changed the fire outcome this season, I don't think that stands up to any credible scientific evidence at all," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

He said an international response was critical to addressing the issue.

Former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins (centre) along with former emergency services chiefs, during a press conference  in Sydney, 14 November.
Former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins (centre) along with former emergency services chiefs, during a press conference in Sydney, 14 November.
AAP

"Climate change is a global phenomenon and we're doing our bit as part of the response to climate change," Mr Morrison said.

“I’m up for taking action on it not just jabbering on about it.”

The prime minister said he didn't meet with 23 former fire chiefs and emergency services leaders calling for a climate emergency declaration in April because the government already had advice about the upcoming season.

“These are things that were very well known to the government – the contribution of these issues to global weather conditions and to conditions here in Australia are known and acknowledged,” he said.

The group also warned bushfire seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres were overlapping, straining the availability of water bombers and other aircraft.

"This is the advice we already had from existing fire chiefs, doing the existing job," Mr Morrison said.

"This is why we put the additional resources into our emergency services and our aviation firefighting assets."

The prime minister said there had been a well prepared and coordinated approach to fighting fires this season, rejecting suggestions the government wasn't ready.

"We're getting on with the job, preparing for what has already been a very devastating fire season," he said.

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