Scott Morrison Uses Landmark Address At The UN To Defend His Climate Change Record
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has copped a lot of flak for not attending the United Nations Climate Summit earlier this week.
He sent his Foreign Minister Marise Payne to represent the country while dozens of other countries sent their leaders to make pledges to tackle climate change.
But he's now travelled to the UN in New York City to make his first ever address.
During his speech, he derided those who told lies about Australia's climate policy and explained to attendees that his country was setting achievable goals.
"Australia's internal and global critics on climate change willingly overlook or ignore our achievements, as the facts simply don't fit the narrative they wish to project about our contribution," Morrison told the general assembly.
"We are successfully balancing our global responsibilities with sensible and practical policies to secure our environmental and our economic future.
He added that Australia was on track to beat its 2020 Kyoto targets and was on track to cutting emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. But then he turned his attention to what has been been all the rage this week at the UN Climate Summit: Greta Thunberg's speech.
The Swedish teenager gave a passionate speech about how leaders need to do more to stop young people's childhoods from being robbed.
Mr Morrison thought that was a bit of a stretch and has urged the younger generation to just chill out a bit when it comes to all this climate stuff.
"We must respect and harness the passion and aspiration of our younger generations, and we must guard against others who week to compound or, worse, facelessly exploit their anxiety for their other agendas.
"We must similarly not allow their concerns to be dismissed or diminished as this can also needlessly increase their anxiety. What parent could do otherwise.
"Our children have a right not just to their future but to their optimism."
"Above all, we must let our children, be children, let our kids be kids - let our teenagers be teenagers - while we do the work positively together to deliver the practical solutions for them and their future."
Mr Morrison is alluding to the idea that Ms Thunberg is being 'exploited' by older people trying to push their green agenda.
During his speech he added that focus should also be on plastic waste, ocean pollution and illegal fishing and also sought to find solutions to the growing drought at home.
To help pressure the Australian government into addressing the impacts of climate change, click here.