Latest environment news

Barack Obama unveils ambitious climate plan

Nick O'Malley 7:40 AM   Republicans immediately declare their opposition, with some state governors expected to challenge plan in the courts.

Obama's Climate push sets up battle reminiscent of Obamacare

President Barack Obama wants the US to lead on climate change action.

Mark Drajem and Angela Greiling Keane 6:56 AM   ​President Barack Obama unveiled a landmark set of regulations to combat climate change in a plan that requires US states to cut emissions from power plants, setting up a red-state, blue-state battle reminiscent of Obamacare.

Community backs mining assessment change but industry warns of dire consequences

Rob Stokes.

Sean Nicholls 12:15 AM   A proposal by planning minister Rob Stokes to dump laws which make the economic benefit of a mining application the "principal consideration" when it is assessed has been met with overwhelming community support. But the mining industry is warning the move will jeopardise jobs and investment in NSW and undermine business confidence.

Senate inquiry calls for new national rules to curb wind farms

The Capital Wind Farm near Canberra.

Tom Arup 8:28 PM   The Abbott government should draw up national rules dictating how wind farms are built and operated and punish states that do not accept them, a Senate committee inquiry into wind turbines has urged.

Echidna returned, man charged with theft

Piggie the echidna was taken from the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday night.

Kim Stephens 7:22 AM   Man, 24, charged after Piggie disappeared from Currumbin sanctuary.

Sydney's coldest spell in 26 years and more chilly mornings ahead

Marley the sheep felt right at home in the snow.

Peter Hannam 7:20 PM   Sydney notched its longest cold spell in 26 years and NSW had its most frosty July since 1997 after a series of strong cold fronts dragged unusually cool air over south-eastern Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Hunter defiantly posts photos of dead giraffe

Sabrina Corgatelli wrote that she "couldn't be any happier" after killing the giraffe.

Megan Levy 8:43 AM   A woman who defiantly posted photographs of herself posing with a giraffe she killed in South Africa has defended big game trophy hunting, insisting hunters were not "cold-hearted killers".

Dolphins, fish of Roebuck Bay need marine park sanctuary: scientists

Some 200 snubfin dolphins live in Roebuck Bay.

Emma Young 7:58 AM   Scientific research suggests sanctuary zones can be the powerhouses of marine parks. So why isn't there one being planned for WA's Roebuck Bay?

Former boxer's hand almost severed in punching great white shark

Craig Ison, who was attacked by a great white shark at Evans Head on the NSW North Coast.

Rachel Olding 10:42 PM   A surfer who punched a great white shark during a frenzied attack on NSW's northern coast had his hand almost severed.

Canberra set to shiver through subzero starts

Frost outside Parliament House in Canberra.

Emma Kelly 3:56 PM   Brace yourselves: frosty, sub-zero mornings are coming.

Deer shelters in backyard pool after dog attack

Taking shelter: A deer shelters in a backyard pool at a property on Otford Road, near Helensburgh, after being chased by a dog.

Michael Koziol, Andrew Pearson 3:01 PM   First a crash, then a splash - the residents at this quiet suburban home south of Sydney knew something was amiss.

Second American accused of illegally killing lion

The killing of Cecil the lion has sparked a wider investigation into the poaching of big game in Zimbabwe.

Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing 1:21 PM   A second American hunter was identified by the Zimbabwean authorities as having allegedly illegally killed a lion with a bow and arrow following the death of beloved Cecil, in a growing big game poaching investigation.

Extreme heat recorded across Middle East

Extreme heat prompted Iraq to declare a four-day holiday.

Peter Hannam 11:56 AM   If you're grumbling about the extended cold across southern Australia this winter, spare a thought for people in the Middle East who are sweltering through heat that's rarely been recorded before.

Second US doctor named in African lion-killing investigation

Dr Jan Seski poses with an elephant killed on an African safari. It was believed to be the sixth elephant killed by Seski.

Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing   A second American hunter has been identified by the Zimbabwean authorities as having allegedly illegally killed a lion with a bow and arrow.

'You put your head out there and it's going to get smashed off'

Cameron Clyne,  former NAB chief

Deborah Snow    Retired business leader Cameron Clyne speaks up on the Abbott government's climate inaction - and explains why corporate Australia is too afraid to do so.

Cecil the lion's brother shot and killed by hunter in Zimbabwe, park source

Shot dead: Cecil the lion

The brother of beloved Cecil the lion was shot and killed on Saturday by a hunter, a conservation group claimed.

Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion's killer

US dentist Dr Walter Palmer has gone silent in the wake of the global outcry over the hunt.

MacDonald Dzirutwe   The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion was a 'foreign poacher' who paid for an illegal hunt and he should be extradited to Zimbabwe to face justice, environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said on Friday.

Warm patch for Sydney before another week of cold mornings

Winter conditions will wane on Saturday before another drop in temperatures.

Peter Hannam   Sydney may notch up its warmest weather in 10 weeks this weekend, but a fresh burst of cold points to another extended return of chilly mornings ahead.

Horses celebrate their birthday like kids in a candy store

Running of the Horses at Glenworth Valley.

Caitlin Wheeler   To celebrate the August 1 birthday of southern hemisphere thoroughbreds, Australia's largest herd formed a spectacular muster this week.

Wilsons Promontory National Park to close for three days in August, as hunters target feral deer

Hog deer at Wilsons Promontory National Park

Darren Gray    One of Victoria's most popular national parks, Wilsons Promontory National Park, will be closed for three days in August as shooters target feral deer that are damaging the park.

Mine approved in water catchment without assessment

Coal being handled by Illawarra Coal. Questions are being asked about how it won approval for an underground mine in the Special Areas.

Peter Hannam   BHP Billiton got approval from the NSW government for what is believed to be the most aggressive coal mine ever attempted beneath the Special Areas at the core of Sydney's water catchment without an accompanying groundwater impact study.

US probes killing of lion Cecil, UN resolves to tackle illicit hunting

US dentist Dr Walter Palmer has gone silent in the wake of the global outcry over the hunt.

Peta Thornycroft, Harriet Alexander   The man who shot Cecil the lion wanted to bag a giant elephant after killing the protected big cat - but was unable to find one large enough for his liking, his guide has disclosed.

Cecil the lion's killer Dr Walter Palmer has gone on the run

US dentist Dr Walter Palmer has gone silent in the wake of the global outcry over the hunt.

Paul Walsh   US wildlife authorities announced an investigation Thursday into the killing of Cecil, a prized lion in Zimbabwe, and also revealed that they have been unable to contact Dr Walter Palmer, the Minnesota big-game hunter and dentist who participated in the fatal hunt.

Senate inquiry push to slash wind farm subsidies will 'destroy sector'

Wind power

Nicole Hasham   The future of renewable energy in Australia would be destroyed if "radical" recommendations from a Senate inquiry into wind power are adopted, the clean power industry says.

Lawyer's effort to free lab chimps dealt setback by judge's ruling

To appeal: Steven Wise of the Nonhuman Rights Project.

Susannah Bryan   A US lawyer's landmark legal battle to free two lab chimpanzees being used in research at a New York university has been dealt a blow.

Coal in the crosshairs

Mine workers Adam Powell and Darrin Francis, at the Springvale mine near Lithgow.

Peter Hannam   No longer 'a favoured' child, the coal industry is under siege from market forces and that's before the Paris climate summit and its potential curbs on fossil fuels.

Australian Antarctic director a bet on science

New Australian Antarctic Division director Nick Gales (left) with other scientists tagging a seal on Heard Island.

Andrew Darby   Science has been cemented at the top of national polar work, with the choice of the Australian Antarctic Division's internationally recognised Chief Scientist, Nick Gales, as its new Director.

Hunter wanted to kill an elephant after shooting Cecil the lion

Zimbabwean safari operator Honest Ndlovu, right, and fellow countryman and hunter Theo Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court.

Peta Thornycroft, Harriet Alexander   The man who shot Cecil the lion wanted to bag a giant elephant after killing the protected big cat - but was unable to find one large enough for his liking, his guide has disclosed.

Drought-hit forests store less carbon dioxide than thought, study finds

Droughts take their toll on forests.

​The world's forests are taking longer than expected to recover from increasingly frequent droughts, meaning their ability to store climate-changing carbon dioxide is smaller than previously thought, Utah University researchers said on Thursday.