News Julie Bishop highlights need for climate change leadership

Julie Bishop highlights need for climate change leadership

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop says Australia needs to show international leadership on climate change and energy policy. Photo: ABC
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Former foreign minister Julie Bishop says Australia needs to show global leadership on climate change in response to the bushfire crisis.

“Countries do look to Australia for direction for guidance and leadership,” she told the Nine Network on Monday.

Ms Bishop said Australia must compose a coherent national climate and energy policy to present at international conferences.

“We don’t have a national energy policy in this country and a national approach to climate change … we are part of a global effort,” she said.

“If a country like Australia fails to show leadership, we can hardly blame other nations for not likewise showing leadership in this area.”

Actor Russell Crowe has also used his victory speech at the Golden Globes in the United States to call for more action on climate change.

While Crowe was in Australia defending his home from bushfires, actor Jennifer Aniston read his speech demanding a move to renewable energy.

“Make no mistake the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based,” Ms Aniston said, reading the speech.

In the face of mounting pressure, Scott Morrison defended his record on climate change over the weekend.

The Prime Minister claimed his government had always made the connection between climate change and extreme weather conditions.

Mr Morrison said Australia was focusing on beating its emissions reductions targets and argued what other countries did was a matter for them.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese wants to examine the impact of climate change on the current bushfires.

Mr Albanese said climate change had resulted in parts of Australia being burnt for the first time.

“This is not normal. And we need to acknowledge that. We need to act in the long-term on climate change,” he told Sky News.

Scott Morrison and the infamous coal incident of 2017. Photo: AAP

Greens leader Richard Di Natale is not impressed.

“This should be a wake-up call to every single member of the political establishment in Australia,” Senator Di Natale told ABC radio.

“The reality is we’ve had a Prime Minister who has chosen to effectively work as a lobbyist for the coal industry at a time when he should have been keeping Australians safe.”

He said Australia should be phasing out coal-fired power and preventing the construction of any new coal mines.