Thousands of Australians took to the streets on Friday to protest against government inaction on climate change, as bushfires ravage large swathes of the country, incinerating wildlife and polluting the air.
The bushfire crisis has added pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative government to do more to combat climate change after Australia weakened its commitment to the UN Paris climate accord last year.
Friday’s demonstrations came as authorities urged nearly a quarter of a million people to flee their homes and prepared military backup as soaring temperatures and erratic winds fanned bushfires across the east coast.
Major roads in Sydney were blocked as protesters chanted “ScoMo has got to go”, referring to Morrison, while others held posters that read, ‘There is no climate B’ and ‘Save us from hell’.
There were similar protests in Canberra, the capital, and Melbourne where air quality turned so noxious this month that the two cities featured among places with the most polluted air on earth.
Australians protest over climate change policy as bushfires rage