'It's climate suicide.' How the world is responding to Australia's devastating bushfires.

For further information on how you can help those affected by the bushfires, read our post here.

Australia’s media have reported on the bushfires daily for months now, but with more than 5 million hectares of land burned, an estimated 500 million animals and 24 people killed and more missing, the world cannot ignore it.

News organisations, leaders and celebrities have had to stand up and take notice. Here’s how the world is responding to the bushfires.

International media.

Photographer Matthew Abbott’s photo of a kangaroo fleeing the flames as a building burns in the background, taken in Lake Conjola, NSW, made front pages all over the world.

The photo appeared on The New York Times front page on January 1, and was seen on a number of British papers on January 2.

new york times bushfire front page
Image: New York Times.

The Guardian featured the image of Geoffrey Keaton's son receiving the Fire Commissioner's Commendations for Bravery and Service on his behalf, at his father's funeral on January 3.

The Guardian bushfires front pages
Image: The Guardian.

The Independent then featured bushfire front pages on January 2 and 3.

The Independent bushfires front pages
Images: The Independent.

On January 4, Dutch paper Het Parool also ran the image on its front page.

New Zealand's The Dominion Post featured the words 'Hell on fire' on its January 2 front page. On January 6, it featured an image of Auckland's sepia toned sky, caused by bushfire smoke travelling 2000 kilometres across the Tasman.

Publications have also run op-eds about the fires, and about the leadership of Australia's government and its track record on climate change.

NZ papers, reacting to New Zealand's smokey skies, criticised the government's line that 'now is not the time' to talk about climate change in their editorials.

David Wallace-Wells wrote 'Global apathy toward the fires in Australia is a scary portent for the future' for New York magazine.

Time Magazine sought to put the devastation into perspective for US readers, writing "Australia’s bushfires have burned an area the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined."

German outlet taz, die tageszeitung said, "the fires show what happens when urgent environmental problems are put on the back burner."

The Atlantic published "Australia Won’t Stop Burning", writing that "even as the country fights bushfires, it can’t stop dumping planet-warming pollution into the atmosphere."

In an analysis of national news, the New York Times published: "As Fires Rage, Australia Sees Its Leader as Missing in Action."

The publication also ran an opinion by novelist Richard Flanagan on January 3, headlined: "Australia Is Committing Climate Suicide." That piece has since been shared tens of thousands of times.

World leaders.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she will be sending another 22 firefighters to our shores, writing on Instagram, "Australia stood by us through some horrific moments in 2019, and we’re here to do the same." On Sunday, she confirmed that the NZ defence force will join to assist.

The Royal Family released a statement from Queen Elizabeth, who wrote, "I have been deeply saddened to hear of the continued bushfires and their devastating impact across many parts of Australia. My thanks go out to the emergency services, and those who put their own lives in danger to help communities in need."


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wrote they were "shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the fires that are destroying homes, livelihoods and wildlife across much of Australia.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people and communities who are affected by this devastating event. We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives, and the brave firefighters who continue to risk their own lives to save the lives of others."

Similarly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said their "thoughts and prayers are with those across Australia who are continuing to face the devastating fires that have been raging for months."

Meghan and Harry also called on their followers to help in the fight against climate change.

"From areas we are personally connected to such as the communities and people we visited in New South Wales in 2018, to the fires in California and parts of Africa, we are struck by the increasingly overlapping presence of these environmental disasters, including of course the destruction of the Amazon which continues.

"This global environmental crisis has now been described as Ecocide. It’s easy to feel helpless, but there’s always a way to help."

French President Emmanuel Macron said he had spoken to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday to offer French aid.

Since December, close to 100 Canadians have been deployed to Australia to help fire fighters, and Canadian foreign affairs minister François-Philippe Champagne said "I have communicated with my Australian counterpart to reiterate that we are prepared to provide further assistance as necessary."

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau reiterated the support in a tweet on Sunday.



Singer Pink posted a list of organisations that her followers can donate to, and pledged to donate $500,000 to the local fire services.

"My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz," she wrote.

Australian native Nicole Kidman posted the same list and added her pledge of $500,000, writing that "our family's support, thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia."

Hugh Jackman, another Aussie, posted a photo of with links to organisations receiving donations, with the caption "How can you help?"

"Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness wrote that his "heart has been broken these last days watching the situation deteriorate there...Go to the link in my bio & donate to Celeste Barber's Australia fundraiser & if you're in a position to donate that would be very much appreciated."

Nick Kroll teamed with Australian actor and filmmaker Joel Edgerton to raise money for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service to "combat the terrible fires ravaging Australia."

Simu Liu, who stars in Marvel's "Shang-Chi," which is filming in Australia, tweeted on Friday "a reminder that Australia is on fire and people are voluntarily risking their lives to keep communities and homes safe!"

Some, like Sharon Stone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen DeGeneres, reposted climate activist Greta Thunberg's post about Australia with message of support.

As the fires continue to burn, the international community is only becoming more galvanised. It's a tragedy that's becoming harder and harder to ignore.

If you want to help, you can donate funds to the organisations below:

... And there's more.

Mamamia Out Loud, our bi-weekly podcast, is coming to Melbourne for a live show, with 100 per cent of all ticket proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund.

It's a brand new show, full of laughs and news and opinions and a few special surprises, with Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens, on February the 11th. You can buy tickets right now at See you there!