Australia climate change: Thousands rally in Sydney amid bushfires

Australia climate change: Thousands rally in Sydney amid bushfires

Agency News

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Sydney to demand urgent action on climate change amid an extreme bushfire season that has brought hazardous smoke to the city.

It came a day after a thick haze caused chaos in the harbour city, setting off smoke alarms and marring visibility.

Protesters, many wearing face masks, accused the government of inaction.

But Australia's government has defended its policies and argued that climate change is not solely to blame.

"Certainly climate change is a factor, there is no question, but it is also important to note that most of these fires have been caused by 'Little Lucifers'," Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told ABC, referring to arsonists.

What happened at the protest?

Organisers estimated that some 20,000 people joined Wednesday's protest march. They accused successive governments of failing to address the "approaching climate emergency".

"Now the result is here: unprecedented drought, bushfires, and now a massive health crisis, with millions choking, with no escape, and severe consequences for people's immediate and long term health," they wrote on a Facebook page for the event.