Bushfire survivors double down at COP27

For Jo Dodds, there is a life before the 2018 bushfires and a life after.

Ms Dodds watched as a "towering, terrifying" inferno approached her forest home near Tathra, on the NSW far south coast, on March 18, 2018.

The fire, sparked by powerlines and fanned by hot, dry winds, destroyed 69 homes, damaged many others and displaced hundreds of people.

Though her home was spared after a sudden wind change, any sense of safety, certainty or peace was gone.

"I was just an ordinary person living a fairly ordinary life and this changed everything," Ms Dodds told AAP.

"Before, I thought 'it's just part of my life, climate change is a future thing'.

"Afterwards, none of that made sense anymore - nor did my own expectations of my future."

Now the president of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, Ms Dodds is speaking at the COP27 conference in Egypt on a panel with First Nations representatives to illustrate the human toll of climate change.

She was among the speakers at the summit in Glasgow last year and wants to maintain pressure on the Australian government before an international audience.

"It puts the lived experience of Australian people who have already lost so much in bushfires, floods and other disasters on the table," she said, speaking from Jordan.

"Every time there is major decision-making happening they have to look us in the eye.

"It gives a moral edge and obligation on everybody who is making the decisions to acknowledge how much hurt and pain and loss and trauma is already occurring."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended his decision not to attend COP27, which starts on Sunday, in favour of passing his government's policies during the final parliamentary sitting weeks.

The government will instead be represented by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and assistant minister Jenny McAllister.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek will then travel to the global biodiversity conference in Montreal in December.

Australia has been more warmly received at the conference this year, Ms Dodds said.

Then prime minister Scott Morrison's climate pledges were widely criticised in international media after he spoke at COP26.

"The experience in Glasgow was one of being excluded or tolerated, whereas this year we've been welcomed," she said.

"It was a big decision to come but my group felt it was important to maintain pressure to meet or beat our targets - particularly beat the targets."