Australian PM Hits U.N. Climate Chief Over Wildfire Remarks

Smoke from wildfires hangs over Sydney. In dispute is whether climate change contributed to the nation's fires.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Oct. 24, 2013, 3:27 a.m.

The U.N.’s top cli­mate of­fi­cial is “talk­ing through her hat” when she sug­gests Aus­tralia’s wild­fires are linked to cli­mate change, Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott said Wed­nes­day.

The of­fi­cial, Chris­ti­ana Figueres, es­tab­lished a con­nec­tion between wild­fires and cli­mate change—de­clin­ing to spe­cific­ally cite the Aus­trali­an fires—but that wasn’t good enough for Ab­bott, Re­u­ters re­ports. “These fires are cer­tainly not a func­tion of cli­mate change. They are just a func­tion of life in Aus­tralia,” he said.