Latest environment news

Aggressive walking fish hitching to Australia

Bridie Smith 1:13 PM   A freshwater fish capable of surviving out of water for up to six days may also be able to survive in salty water, prompting scientists to warn that the aggressive climbing perch could make its way to mainland Australia from Papua New Guinea.

Australia given $4b in foreign subsidies for coal projects: report

Coal projects.

Lisa Cox 12:15 AM   Australia has received more than $4 billion in money from foreign governments to fund coal projects since 2007, according to a new report highlighting the extent to which wealthy countries are still financing fossil fuels.

France suggests world leaders at start, not end, of climate summit

French President Francois Hollande and Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal.

7:55 AM   ​France suggests world leaders should attend only the start of a summit on climate change in Paris in six months, hoping to avoid a repeat of the last failed attempt in 2009 when they came at the end and left empty-handed.

Europe's oil giants jointly call for carbon pricing

Over a barrel: climate action needs a price on carbon, big oil firms say.

7:49 AM   ​Europe's top oil and gas companies urged governments around the world to introduce a pricing system for carbon emissions, as governments meet in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to work on a UN deal to fight climate change.

Sydney water supply at risk if miners pay to harm swamps, critics say


Nicole Hasham 10:08 PM   Coal companies could pay "a few lousy dollars" to damage sensitive swamps that provide pure drinking water to millions of Sydneysiders if mining changes proposed by the Baird government proceed, environment groups say.

Green group suggests conflict of interest in coal assessments

The NSW Environmental Defenders Office says some members of the Planning Assessment Commission are too closely involved in mining to make decisions about planning applications from the industry.

Anne Davies 12:00 AM   The NSW Ombudsman has been asked to examine the issue of conflicts of interest among members of the Planning Assessment Commission who are involved in assessing and approving coal projects in NSW.

Australia defends Direct Action to UN

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop

Tom Arup 9:43 AM   Australia has pegged its international climate change credibility on the Abbott government's direct action scheme in its response to a series of tough questions from world super powers.

Drought spreads as El Nino takes hold

Another season of below-average rainfall for most of eastern Australia.

Peter Hannam 4:14 PM   May capped off another relatively dry month for Australia, extending drought conditions across eastern regions of the country just as the influence of an El Nino begins to take hold.

Timing gives Abbott no excuse to avoid Paris climate talks

Tony Abbott at the last CHOGM meeting in November 2013 in Sri Lanka.

Peter Hannam 3:37 PM   Pressure on the Prime Minister to attend the crucial Paris Climate Summit is likely to rise if he opts to attend the CHOGM gathering that will be held just prior to the French event.

Feeling the cold? You're not wrong

Falls Creek

Robyn Grace 1:56 PM   Winter got off to a freezing start on Monday, equalling Tullamarine's coldest morning since 1971 and almost beating the city's coldest start since 1977.

Sydney weather: city shivers through coldest June morning in five years

Thredbo revels in the cold conditions which brought snow on Monday.

Megan Levy 12:50 PM   Winter is just two days young, but it's already making its mark on a shivering Sydney.

American killed by lion in South Africa game park

A lioness approached the passenger side of the vehicle as the woman took photos and then lunged, said Scott Simpson, assistant operations manager at the Lion Park.

8:30 AM   A lion has leapt through an open car window and mauled an American tourist to death at a privately-run game park just outside Johannesburg.

The world's biodiversity is not as diverse as first thought

Melbourne University's Andrew Hamilton is co-author of a paper which has published findings on the number of species on the planet, particularly beetles.

Bridie Smith 6:15 AM   Our planet may be home to millions fewer species than previously thought, according to the results of a new study led by Australian researchers.

Disease hits last wild orange-bellied parrots

Threat: Evidence of beak and feather disease has been found in the breeding colony of orange-bellied parrots in South West Tasmania.

Andrew Darby 5:29 PM   An attempt is being made by the Federal Government to speed action over a fatal disease in Australia's most critically endangered wild bird, the orange-bellied parrot.

Sydney weather: Winter arrives with icy blast, snow at alpine resorts

Perisher's Olympic Run just before 8am on Monday.

Megan Levy 4:32 PM   It"s the first day of winter, and it's freezing, the themometer says.

Taronga greets baby gorilla as courts decide if apes should be free

Born into controversy: Taronga's new gorilla baby.

Steve Jacobs 3:55 PM   As Taronga Zoo celebrates another gorilla birth, animal rights groups in the Americas are trying to persuade courts to free great apes from captivity.

How to save on your winter energy bills

Falls Creek

Robyn Grace   Winter isn't all about snow and slow cooking. For some, the energy bills make this season the stuff of nightmares.

Time to move? A new plan for Cape Otways' koalas

Researcher Desley Whisson with three Otway koalas that were culled due to starvation.

Tom Arup   It's hard to think of anything much more emotive than the killing of koalas. But in some cases on Victoria's Cape Otway, that's what it has come to. 

Get the ski jackets out: snow is on the way

Falls Creek

Robyn Grace   Winter is off to a freezing start, with some Melburnians waking to apparent temperatures of 2.7 degrees.

Doctors push for government action on climate

Climate change can't be ignored, AMA says.

The powerful doctors lobby group is set to ramp up pressure on the federal government to take action on climate change.

Rio Tinto's coal mine expansion threatens Bulga again

Coal mines in the Upper Hunter Valley near Bulga, where Rio wants to extend the open-cut mine.

Anne Davies   The residents of Bulga in the Upper Hunter Valley are incensed at the proposal for an open cast coal mine to expand to the very edge of their historic settlement.

Indian heatwave toll soars to 2200

A girl cools off herself in the waters of the river Ganges in Allahabad, India.

India's death toll from one of the world's deadliest heatwaves has climbed to more than 2200.

Birds-eye view gives scientists a rare insight into the life of seabird

Deakin Uni researchers put cameras on the backs of gannets to work out how they get their food in and around Port Phillip Bay

Bridie Smith Science Editor   Researchers have attached cameras and tracking devices to the tails of Australasian gannets to get a bird's-eye view of how the seabirds forage for their food in Victorian waters.

Melbourne weather: Winter arrives with icy blast; hopes for early snow

Falls Creek

Benjamin Millar   Winter is due to arrive with any icy blast across Victoria on Monday, sending Melbourne's temperature plummeting and bringing heavy snowfalls to the ski fields.

Solar Impulse 2 starts six-day non-stop flight from China to Hawaii

Solar Impulse 2 on an early leg of its round-the-world flight attempt.

The revolutionary Solar Impulse 2 aircraft has taken off for a six-day flight over the Pacific Ocean, the most ambitious leg of its quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun.

Tokyo shaken by 7.8-magnitude quake

Japanese soccer fans react to a strong earthquake as they watch a J-League match in Hiratsuka, south-west of Tokyo.

A strong earthquake has shaken buildings in Tokyo, setting off car alarms as it rattled the Japanese capital.

Hawaiian fisherman dies in struggle with swordfish

Randy Llanes died in a struggle with the swordfish.

A Hawaiian fisherman died when a swordfish he had speared in a harbour on the Big Island struck him in the chest with its sharp bill, officials said.

Reef still under threat despite UNESCO decision: green groups

Green groups claim the Great Barrier Reef is still under threat.

Amy Remeikis   Green groups have said there are still tremendous threats to the Great Barrier Reef, as the Queensland and Federal governments celebrate dodging an "in danger" listing for the world heritage site.

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Tasmanian wilderness is more than a name

Styx Valley: How the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is described has stirred up debate.

Andrew Darby   The World Heritage Committee is set to slap down an attempt by the Tasmanian Government to ditch wilderness zoning from most of the island's remote south-west.

Reef battle seems won, but dangers still lurk

UNESCO has declared the Great Barrier Reef should not be deemed "in danger".

Tom Arup   UNESCO says the Great Barrier Reef should not be deemed "in danger", but environmental threats to our prized natural asset are ongoing.