Bushfire smoke on Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Bushfire smoke on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Faith leaders press PM on climate action

RELIGIOUS leaders have appealed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a "fellow person of faith" to heed climate science following the country's catastrophic bushfire season.

The open letter - signed by 18 Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and other faith leaders - urges Mr Morrison to show leadership and urgently transition Australia away from fossil fuels.

The signatories include: Dr Peter Catt, the Dean of St John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane, the Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM, Chair of the Catholic Bishops Commission on Justice, Mission and Service Muslims Australia president Dr Rateb Jneid and Buddhist Council of NSW president Dr Gawaine Powell Davies.

"We are writing to you as a fellow person of faith about the climate crisis that has been playing out so tragically," Thursday's letter states.

The faith leaders said viable alternatives exist for the "destructive practices" of fossil fuel burning, animal agriculture and land clearing, and called for Mr Morrison's government to urgently adopt such measures.

They said climate change-fuelled disasters had "damaged God's creation" and placed indigenous and farming communities at risk.

"We are asking you to have the wisdom, courage and humility to admit that it is time to chart a new course when it comes to climate policy," the letter states.

"It will take courage to admit that policy directions chosen so far have been unwise but this is what this moment in history calls for."

More than three-in-four Australians were either directly or indirectly impacted by blazes this bushfire season, Australian National University research has shown.

More than 30 lives were lost nationwide.