Former emergency service chiefs say Scott Morrison's bushfires royal commission doesn't take the heat off the federal government to take real action on dangerous climate change.
Emergency Leaders for Climate Action say credible measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions are "the only way to keep Australians safe".
"The root cause of this horror summer is climate change, driven by the burning of coal, oil, and gas," former Emergency Management Victoria commissioner Craig Lapsley said in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Lapsley said this season's bushfires were so severe that areas where hazard reduction burns had been carried out - and even mown lawns - were torched.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced the long-awaited commission.
He said while it would "acknowledge" climate change the inquiry would focus on practical action to make Australians safer.
"My priority is to ... better protect and equip Australians for living in hotter, drier and longer summers," Mr Morrison said in a statement.
Former Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Lee Johnson welcomed the prime minister's acknowledgement that climate change contributed to the recent unprecedented bushfires.
"(But) in addition to focusing on adaptation and resilience measures to cope with a worsening climate, the federal government must urgently take measures to bring down emissions and tackle climate change to prevent bushfire danger from increasing further," Mr Johnson said in a statement.
"Credible climate action is the only way to keep Australians safe."
Mr Johnson said Australia wouldn't remain the lucky country if it continued to "delay, distract, and deflect attention away from the core problem we face - which is that climate change is driving worsening extreme weather".
The royal commission is due to report by late August with the federal government keen to receive recommendations ahead of the next fire season.
The inquiry will look at the resourcing of fire services, hazard reduction, land clearing and planning laws.
Former Defence chief Mark Binskin has been picked to lead the commission alongside two assistants.
Thousands of homes were destroyed and 33 people died in horrific blazes that burned across Australia in the 2019-20 bushfire season.
Australian Associated Press
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