Australia's prime minister justifies climate policies amid raging wildfires originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
Hundreds of wildfires were burning in four states on Monday, which have been burning for months, The Associated Press reported. In New South Wales alone, 94 fires were burning as of Monday night local time, with 58 yet to be contained, according to the state's Rural Fire Service.
At 10pm 94 fires continue to burn across NSW, 58 yet to be contained. Crews will use easing conditions tomorrow to work on strengthening containment lines. You should take the opportunity to prepare your property and family for the threat of fire. How fire proof is your plan? pic.twitter.com/25CXvx7jI2— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 23, 2019
Morrison responded to criticism that his conservative government has not made adequate actions to combat climate change, including his refusal to downsize the coal industry in the country, which is the largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, according to AP. The prime minister said Monday that Australia would still meet its emissions targets.
"I am not going to write off the jobs of thousands of Australians by walking away from traditional industries," Morrison told Australia's Channel Seven, according to AP.
Morrison also dismissed teen climate advocate Greta Thunberg's call for political action in the country, telling reporters in a press conference Monday, "It’s not for me to make commentaries on what those outside of Australia think that Australia should do. We’ll do in Australia what we think is right for Australia. And that has always been my guiding principle," according to The Australian.
Not even catastrophes like these seem to bring any political action. How is this possible?— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 22, 2019
Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires
That's what has to change.
Morrison thanked U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday for sending 44 firefighters to Australia.
Thanks @realDonaldTrump & @JustinTrudeau for the 44 firefighters you’ve sent to Australia in our time of need. Australia, the US & Canada are great mates & have always stood by each other when it counted like our ANZAC cousins in NZ who are also helping us - thanks @jacindaardern pic.twitter.com/O06OJjGoVL— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) December 22, 2019
Without rain in the immediate forecast, the wildfires could continue into January or February, said New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, according to AP.