Sir Lindsay Hoyle: Australia's wildfires should act as a wake-up call to us all

Charlotte O'Dwyer, the youngest daughter of Rural Fire Service volunteer Andrew O'Dwyer stands in front of her father's casket. Picture: GettyImages
Charlotte O'Dwyer, the youngest daughter of Rural Fire Service volunteer Andrew O'Dwyer stands in front of her father's casket. Picture: GettyImages
Share this article
0
Have your say

Australia's wildfires crisis should act as a "wake-up call for the world", according to the Commons Speaker.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle expressed the House's "deepest sympathies" with the people of Australia and sent a "message of solidarity" to their colleagues in the Australian parliament.

He said: "We pay tribute to the firefighters and all those who are putting their lives at risk.

"The magnitude of the disaster unfolding in Australia should shock us all, with human and animal lives and precious species of fauna being destroyed.

"This is a wake-up call for the world.

READ MORE - Worker rushed to hospital after industrial incident at Grangemouth oil refinery

"All Australians are in our thoughts and prayers."

The fires have been fuelled by drought and the country's hottest and driest year on record.

They have killed 25 people and there are also claims that nearly 500 million birds, reptiles and mammals have died in the blazes.

Labour leadership hopeful Clive Lewis, a shadow Treasury minister, said there was an "appalling lack of" climate crisis policies developed by the UK Government.

Mr Lewis told the Commons: "So as Australia burns, as millions in African states face climate-driven famine, and floods have swept the north of England, will this Government give a damn about this existential threat and act, not posture?"

READ MORE - Scotland gets 'toughest climate change laws in the world' as Holyrood vote passed

Treasury minister Simon Clarke labelled the question a "rather ungracious recognition" of the Government's work in this area.

One of the Liberal Democrat's acting leaders Sir Ed Davey called for the upcoming budget to be "a budget for the climate emergency".

Sir Ed said: "Can I ask the Treasury front bench whether this March's budget will be a budget for the climate emergency, and if it is, will ministers look at the ideas of the outgoing governor of the Bank of England to decarbonise finance and green the city and come forward with the rules and regulations that will capitalise private investment to beat climate change?"

Mr Clarke replied: "We are very clear that this is a central priority for the Budget which will come in March."