'Not here to impress': Scott Morrison responds to Greta Thunberg criticism

Scott Morrison has again been forced to defend his climate change stance after the Australian bushfire emergency caught the attention of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

“Not even catastrophes like these seem to bring any political action. How is this possible?” the 16-year-old, recently named Time's Person of the Year for 2019, tweeted on Saturday.

“Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires.

Greta Thunberg slammed the prime minister's inaction in a fiery tweet. Source: AAP

“That's what has to change. Now.”

Addressing media at Mudgee, in NSW, on Monday the prime minister hit back at the scathing criticism, claiming he was focusing on Australia rather than on the opinions of people overseas.

“It's not for me to make commentaries on what those outside of Australia think that Australia should do,” Mr Morrison said.

“We'll do in Australia what we think is right for Australia and that has always been my guiding principle. I'm not here to try to impress people overseas.”

The prime minister also said Australia's need to take action on climate change hadn't changed and the government's focus remained on implementing current policies.

“You run government on fact and you run government on what you need to do to protect our environment and its sustainability for the future,” he said.

“And facts when it comes to addressing climate change... they remain the same.”

Asked if the leaders meeting would discuss measures to reduce fuel loads in bushland and encourage more land clearing around structures, Mr Morrison said “everything” was on the table.

Scott Morrison responded to Greta Thunberg's criticism in NSW on Monday. Source: AAP

On Monday Mr Albanese reiterated a proposal for firefighting volunteers – including tax relief, one-off payments, leave payments or other compensation arrangements – as already exists for Defence Force reservists.

But Mr Morrison stalled, saying the government was taking advice before noting that “Australia's system all around the country has always, and will always, depend on having a large volunteer force” to deal flood, fire and other relief efforts.

“I'm taking advice from fire commissioners on what is best needed to continue to support access to that important volunteer force that is out there,” he said, noting there had been no state recommendations on compensation for volunteers.

With AAP

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