Australia’s Prime Minister on Thursday denied his climate policies had caused unprecedented bushfires ravaging the country and insisted his government was doing enough to tackle global warming.
As dozens of new blazes scorched the countryside and the country’s largest city was cloaked in hazardous smoke, conservative leader Scott Morrison defended his climate record, saying Australia was “doing our bit”.
His comments came after weeks spent refusing to speak about the link between climate change and deadly fires described by the emergency services as unprecedented in number and scale for the early bushfire season.
As more people in the southeast of the country were told to evacuate their homes and schoolchildren in Sydney were again forced to play indoors, Morrison dismissed mounting calls for action.
“The suggestion that any way shape or form that Australia — accounting for 1.3 percent of the world’s emissions… are impacting directly on specific fire events, whether it is here or anywhere else in the world, that doesn’t bear up to credible scientific evidence,” he told ABC radio.
Scientists, former fire chiefs and residents touched by bushfires have all drawn the link between this season’s more intense fires and climate change.
Drought, unseasonably hot, dry and