“If a country like Australia fails to show leadership, we can hardly blame other nations for not likewise showing leadership in this area.”
Australia should be putting forward “a cogent, coherent case for an energy policy” at international conferences, Ms Bishop said.
Mr Morrison has defended his climate change record in recent days, insisting Australia’s existing emissions reduction policies do enough to protect the environment and aim to reduce bushfire risks.
Ms Bishop also addressed the criticism of Mr Morrison’s response to the bushfires, saying he was “doing the best he can” and there was “no doubt this is a national crisis”.
It comes after Ms Bishop took a swipe at Mr Morrison at a private soiree in December, when she chastised him for his decision to take an overseas holiday while fires ravaged NSW.
Ms Bishop said at the gathering of prominent Liberal figures before Christmas that Mr Morrison was “testing the theory that the best way to resolve a crisis is to be as far away from it as possible”.
On Monday, Ms Bishop said the fires were taking “a tragic toll on the nation” and communities needed “leadership at every level … at local government, state government and nationally”.
“All of our leaders need to show compassion and care to address the needs that people have.
“People need to be reassured that their leaders are listening and that every arm of government is co-operating and working together to ensure that they can contain what lies ahead and help those that need to rebuild.”
Ms Bishop backed calls for a public inquiry into the deadly blazes.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale told ABC Radio on Monday the bushfires “should be a wake-up call to every single member of the political establishment in Australia”.
“The reality is we’ve had a prime minister who has chosen to effectively work as a lobbyist for the coal industry at a time when he should have been keeping Australians safe.”
He said Australia should be phasing out coal-fired power and preventing the construction of any new coal mines.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said last week Australia needed to lead international efforts on climate change rather than thwart efforts for bolder emissions reduction targets.
Megan Gorrey is the Urban Affairs reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.