Prime Minister Scott Morrison has responsed after Swedish teenage ecowarrior Greta Thunberg made scathing comments about Australia's bushfire crisis.

Retweeting a video from 9 News, Greta said politicians had failed to connect the world's climate crisis with extreme weather events.

The tweet has already garnered thousands of likes and retweets.

The PM dismissed Greta's criticism in a press conference this afternoon, saying he was focused on Australia's interests.


"Australia and the Australian Government will set our policies based on Australia's national interests, on what Australia needs to do," Mr Morrison told reporters in Mudgee.

"That's where I keep my focus. It's not for me to make commentaries on what those outside of Australia think that Australia should do.

"We'll do in Australia what we think is right for Australia. And that has always been my guiding principle.

"I'm not here to try to impress people overseas.

"I'm here to do the right job for Australians and put them first, and that means putting the environment in which we live at the top of the agenda, along with the economy in which people live at the top of the agenda.

"And making sure that we have responsible plans to balance the issues to ensure that people have what they need going into the future and they can be confident about their future.

"And I believe that they can. I think that they can be very confident.

"I mean, right now, particularly here in Mudgee where you have the double blow of drought and fires, you talk to people and what they talk to you about is their hope and they talk to you about their future."


The Prime Minister did not use Greta's name during his answer.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to firefighters in Mudgee, New South Wales today. Photo / AP
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to firefighters in Mudgee, New South Wales today. Photo / AP

Greta, 16, also retweeted pictures overnight of cockatoos that had dropped dead from trees in western Victoria because of the extreme heat.

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After months of crisscrossing the Atlantic to attend first the United Nations climate summit in New York and then COP25 talks in Madrid, Greta was back in Sweden on Friday, taking part in a rally outside the parliament where her protests first began over a year ago.

Dressed in her trademark yellow rain coat and woollen hat and trailed by a pack of bodyguards, Greta met with a group of young climate activists just outside the parliamentary building.

Named 2019 Person of the Year by Time magazine, Greta said she hoped the distinction would help put her cause in the spotlight.

"I really hope that it raises awareness and motivates others to get involved in the campaign," she told Swedish news agency TT.

Just over a year ago, at the start of the school year, the then-ninth grade student left her books at home and began sitting outside the Swedish parliament to raise awareness about the climate emergency.

Her "school strike" made the rounds of social media before gaining momentum in the international press — and the "Fridays for Future" movement was born.

The Greta phenomenon went viral. Her Twitter and Instagram accounts now have more than six million followers.

As the unofficial spokesperson for her generation, Greta wants to sound the alarm about global warming among the world's politicians, as witnessed in her rousing "how dare you" speech at the UN climate summit.

Her struggle has inspired more than just fellow teenagers to take up the cause and at the Stockholm rally banners for "pensioners for the climate" could be seen.

Hjalmar Nowak, a 55-year-old psychiatrist carrying a sign with the words "Doctor strike for the climate", said Greta's achievements had been inspiring, even if the young climate activist herself was disappointed.

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends a climate march, in Turin, Italy on December 13. Photo / AP
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends a climate march, in Turin, Italy on December 13. Photo / AP

"Well, Greta says they have achieved nothing since the emissions are still rising. That's true, of course, but they have achieved a lot by raising awareness," he told AFP.

Nevertheless, the last round of climate negotiations at the COP25 in Madrid earlier in December did not yield the results many had hoped for, with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres dubbing it a "lost opportunity".

Greta has not said what her plans are for the next few months. But her many Swedish fans and supporters seemed happy to have her back on her home turf.

"Valkommen hem!" ("Welcome home") one of them wrote on her Instagram account.