Australian Prime Minister admits mistakes in bush fire crisis amid mounting criticism

Australia’s beleaguered prime minister, Scott Morrison, has admitted there were things he “could have handled much better” in the bushfire crisis and will propose a royal commission into the disaster.

The prime minister has been heavily criticized for his tone-deaf interactions with fire-ravaged communities and inaction over climate change.
In a lengthy interview with the ABC’s Insiders host, David Speers, Morrison said the fires had made his government “think a little harder” on how to provide comfort and consolation to the victims.
“These are sensitive environments, they are very emotional environments,” said Morrison, adding that “prime ministers are flesh and blood too in how they engage with these people.”
Morrison said he will now put a proposal for a royal commission into the fire crisis to Cabinet. The inquiry would look at how the government should respond and offer support to those affected.

Emissions targets will ‘evolve’

Dozens of people have died, thousands of homes destroyed, and huge swathes of the country burnt in the blazes that began months before the official fire season even started, putting fresh scrutiny on the country’s environmental policies.
Days before Morrison’s interview, tens of thousands of Australians marched across several capital cities calling on the government to act on the climate crisis.
Morrison’s government stands accused of trying to use accounting trickery to meet the country’s emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement — targets that critics say are too low in the first place — while it also commits to new fossil fuel projects.
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