“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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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