Latest environment news

Power sector's emissions accelerate after carbon tax's demise

Peter Hannam 5:05 PM   Emissions from Australia's main power sector are rising at an increasing rate one year after the end of the carbon price, with plants in Victoria fired by brown coal the biggest contributors, according to an energy consultancy.

Weeks of chill ahead as polar air moves in over Australia

This will be the dress code for the next couple of weeks.

Peter Hannam 6:44 PM   Sydney's coldest stint since 1983 in the offing, and the cool conditions may linger for quite some time yet, meteorologists say.

Scientists urge Liberal MPs to take climate science lesson

Liberal MP and climate change sceptic Dennis Jensen: "The evidence that I've seen thus far certainly I don't find compelling."

Nicole Hasham 2:28 PM   Top Australian researchers have offered to educate Liberal Party sceptics on the evidence of climate change, saying a push for parliament to re-examine the science is unnecessary and ignoring expert consensus may "imperil" the nation.

AGL ditches Sydney CSG permit, but sticks with Gloucester project

AGL sticks with plans to develop its coal seam gas project near Gloucester.

Peter Hannam 12:15 PM   AGL will surrender three of its coal seam gas exploration permits including one covering much of the Sydney basin but will press ahead with its controversial Gloucester Gas Project despite on-going waste water disposal issues.

The climate one year on: exit carbon price, enter brown coal

Swimmers in the cooling pond of the Hazelwood brown coal power plant.

Adam Morton   2nd Degree: A year on from the abolition of the carbon price, greenhouse pollution from electricity generation has rebounded as Australia burns more brown coal to meet its power needs.

Peru declares emergency in 14 regions as El Nino worries mount

Tourists trekking up towards Salkantay Mountain in Peru.

7:53 AM   Peru declares a 60-day state of emergency in towns in 14 regions to brace for possible damage from the climate pattern El Nino in the rainy season, state media reports.

French renewables power grid pilot reveals limits of batteries in Europe

Tesla's Powerwall battery has raised hopes for a rush into storage devices.

8:00 AM   ​A major pilot project by Europe's largest power network operator to integrate power from rooftop solar panels into the grid has shown that battery storage of renewable energy is not yet economically viable in Europe.

Ecologist says warnings on Lithgow mine led to sacking

Lithgow Environment Group's Chris Jonkers at East Wolgan swamp, which has been extensively damaged by polluted mine water being pumped into it and ground cracking causing the swamp to drain and dry out.

Anne Davies   An environmental consultant says he was sacked by a coal company after he warned that longwall mining was harming endangered swamps near Lithgow.

Solar-powered plane makes it to Hawaii, pilot sets non-stop record

Solar Impulse 2 as it approached Hawaii after record-smashing flight.

A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun's energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

Hazelwood owners refusing to pay $18 million mine fire bill

The open cut mine fire at the Hazelwood plant in Morwell in February 2014.

Tom Arup 6:46 PM   The owners of Hazelwood are refusing to pay an $18 million bill for the firefighting effort to stop a massive fire at their brown coal mine last year that shrouded the town of Morwell in smoke and ash.

Planning rule change gives hope to Bulga, other communities facing big mines -

Alan Jones joins protesters against the Rio Tinto mine.

Peter Hannam and Sean Nicholls 12:00 AM   The Baird government will restore a balance between economic and environmental considerations for major mining projects in a move that has cheered communities such as Bulga in the Hunter but sparked alarm within the industry.

Pacific neighbors facing unaffordable climate change bill: study

The Marshall Islands hit by king tides. It is one of the South Pacific nations researchers say are facing unaffordable costs to protect their coastal buildings.

Tom Arup 1:15 AM   Australia's small island neighbours in the South Pacific are facing an enormous bill to protect their buildings and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, one they are unlikely to afford.

Figures show new houses saved $25 million on power and water bills

Houses built in NSW in the past 10 years have saved on electricity and water bills.

Andrew Brown   New homes built in NSW over the last decade have saved $25 million on electricity and water bills during the last financial year, according to new state government figures.

Red Cross appealing for dog blood donors

Two year-old groodle 'Oscar' playing at Sydney Park.

Francesca Wallace   The Red Cross is calling for more people to allow their dogs to donate blood.

Scientists convinced European heat waves boosted by climate change

Hadley Eames covers Gemma Cousins with stones as they sunbathe on a hot Summer day at Brighton beach in Britain

As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe.

Lizards, dragon flies and swamps versus jobs, a town and Sydney's electricity

Springvale mine workers from left, Adam Powell and Darrin Francis, in the lamp room at the completion of their shift. Springvale mine in Lithgow is seeking an extension to its' existing coal mine operations which will take the underground mine below sensitive swamps in the Newnes State Forest.

Anne Davies   What price the habitat of the endangered Blue Mountains skink, the giant dragonfly, rare swamp plants and an increase in salinity in rivers that feed Sydney's water drinking supply?

Footage shows sharks feasting on whale carcass off Coffs Harbour

A shark feeds on the carcass of a sperm whale near Coffs Harbour on Thursday.

Megan Levy   Incredible footage has emerged of a group of sharks feeding on the carcass of a sperm whale off the coast of Coffs Harbour.

Coal waste clean-up of river to take 'many weeks', EPA says

Polluted gully downstream of the Clarence colliery.

Peter Hannam   The collapse of a wall of coal waste at the Clarence Colliery into part of the Wollangambe River is expected to take "many weeks" to clean up, the NSW Environment Protection Agency said.

Packaging industry falling short of recycling goal, may cut target

Plastics not so fantastic: recycling falls short, internal report finds

Peter Hannam   The packaging industry is considering cutting its recycling target after an internal review found imports of plastics were far higher than thought, leaving waste reuse falling further shy of targets.

Mercury plunges as Canberrans brace for weekend cold snap

A frost-coated dandelion in my front yard.

Megan Gorrey   Canberrans who shivered through one of the chilliest mornings of the year have been warned the freezing temperatures are set to continue this weekend.

Frosty nights but some joy for snow bunnies

Front Valley at Perisher has received a welcome dusting.

Peter Hannam   Sydney's run of unusually cold mornings will extend well into next week as mostly clear skies combine with light winds and a frigid air mass to sink the mercury.

Drought spreads into key farming areas as El Nino gets going

Drought conditions are spreading into the lower Murray-Darling Basin.

Peter Hannam   Australia's drought-hit regions are expanding in the lower Murray-Darling Basin as key climate influences in the Indian and Pacific oceans tilt towards drier conditions.

Saving China from itself

Hai Zhengjun, 64, in front of his former cave dwelling. The land where Hai and his family live has an average annual rainfall of 300-500 millimetres.

Philip Wen and Sanghee Liu   Large industrialised cities, the engine room of modern China's surging economic growth, are proving the catalyst for an urgent shift in the government's environmental disposition.

Cyclone Raquel to give El Nino a major kick along

Farmers, among, others have their eyes on the weather.

Peter Hannam   The chances of a powerful El Nino event this year have just been raised by the tropical cyclones forming in the western Pacific.

Construction starts on wind farm to help meet ACT's energy needs

The ACT aims to source 90 per cent of Canberra's electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

Construction officially started today on the first wind farm to supply power to the ACT.

Surfer 'knocked off board at Lennox head,' day after shark mauling at Ballina

Ballina Shire Council mayor David Wright.

Megan Levy   A surfer has been knocked off his board by a shark at Lennox Head on Friday morning, just kilometres from the beach where a bodyboarder was mauled by a suspected great white the previous day, according to reports.

Demand for omega-3 wiping out krill stocks: Sea Shepherd

Krill stocks threatened by demand for omega-3, Sea Shepherd claims.

Australia's production of omega-3 health supplements is having a devastating impact on krill stocks in Antarctic waters, a marine conservation group says.

Kangaroo cull activist arrested

Canberra's kangaroo cull will continue until July 31.

Tom McIlroy   A 70-year-old Macarthur man has become the first person arrested protesting this year's controversial kangaroo cull in Canberra. 

Lucky the dog finds a new home

Lucky the dog can finally focus on just being a puppy.

Michael McGowan   Lucky is the sole survivor of a brutal attack, during which Nathan Thompson bludgeoned her nine siblings to death. Finally, she's had some good luck.

Probe into coal mine over waste spill into Wollangambe River

The Wollangambe River in the Blue Mountians.

Peter Hannam   A spill of coal waste and water has affected the Wollangambe River.