FORMER US vice-president and climate change campaigner Al Gore has told ABC's 7.30 Report that Australia's leaders are in denial about climate change.
Mr Gore, whose documentary crews focused on the Bundaberg floods in an online documentary on climate change, linked lack of action on climate change to big cigarette companies.
"It's not my place to get involved in your politics," he told the ABC, "but it reminds me of politicians here in the United States who got a lot of support from the tobacco companies and argued there was absolutely no connection between cigarettes and lung cancer."
Mr Gore conceded that bushfires did happen naturally, but said global warming would cause them to be more severe, and more regular.
"Bushfires can occur naturally and do, but the sciene shows clearly when the temperature goes up and vegetation and soils dry out that wildfires become more pervasive and dangerous," he said.
"That's not me saying it, that's what the scientific community says."
Mr Gore praised Australia's bravery in battling the fires in New South Wales.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of New South Wales," he said.