Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing renewed pressure to pursue more ambitious climate change policies amid an escalating bushfire crisis.
Bushfires in five Australian states have escalated, with the death toll for the fire season rising to at least 17.
The air quality in Canberra, the nation's capital, was the worst in the world on Wednesday and Thursday as the city was covered in thick smoke from more than 100 fires in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria.
Prime Minister Morrison on Wednesday described the fires as "a time of great challenge for Australia," but said that previous generations have faced similar crises and rejected calls to pursue ambitious climate policies.
In a significant move, the NSW branch of the Young Liberals, the youth movement of Morrison's Liberal Party, on Thursday called on the government to make policy changes to address "extraordinary challenges presented by human induced climate change."
Chaneg Torres, the president of the NSW Young Liberals, told Nine Entertainment newspapers that the governing body of the movement voted unanimously in December to push for greater action on climate change.
"The NSW Young Liberal movement is reflecting the views of our generation in recognising the reality of human induced climate change and the need for government policy to respond accordingly," he said.
"Climate change is a phenomenon that will affect our generation's future. Intergenerational equity requires that governments take the challenge seriously now for the sake of our generation."
Australia has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate agreement.