Latest environment news

Inaction means home is where the draught is

Peter Hannam   A survey of stakeholders in the construction sector found 65 per cent thought the building code energy-efficiency provisions were not implemented strictly, but no one is following this up.

Forest-cutting can have an immediate effect on climate, Nature report finds

The climate-shaping Amazon region.

Dom Phillips 7:34 AM   The critical role that vast tropical forests like Brazil's Amazon play in suppressing climate change is well-known: They store huge quantities of carbon, acting as "carbon sinks."

Sea Shepherd found in contempt of court in US

Paul Elias 5:21 PM   Anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd have been found in contempt of a US court for ignoring an order to stop dangerous protests.

Plan to allow Australian native animals as pets

Great pets: An eastern quoll, spotted in Tasmania.

Kirsty Needham, State Political Editor 12:00 AM   The NSW government is being urged to remove licence requirements for keeping some native animals as pets.

Algae-infested Lake Tuggeranong closed - again

Blue-green algae on the surface of Lake Tuggeranong near the Wanniassa drain.

Emma Kelly   Lake Tuggeranong has been closed amid rising blue-green algae levels.

Bans on fishing from shore

An amnesty on fishing from shore in the state's marine parks has come to an end.

Peter Hannam   The Baird government will immediately end its policy of allowing recreational fishing from the shore in most of the state’s marine protected areas.

Rio's Warkworth gets offset nod despite internal concerns

Rio Tinto's Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

Peter Hannam   Environment officials raised concerns about planned expansion of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth coalmine.

Fire ant blitz of 600 homes

Spread fears: The red imported fire ant.

Josh Dye   Trained red imported fire ant inspectors will search 600 Sydney homes on Saturday as the state government investigates whether the ants have spread beyond the initial outbreak into nearby residential properties.

South-east Queensland left battered by storms

The view from New Farm as the storm rolls in.

South-east Queensland is mopping up after being battered by a line of intense thunderstorms that cut power to more than 27,000 homes and businesses.

Interaction with lions in new zoo enclosure

A lion at Melbourne Zoo. The new enclosure houses three 13-year-old male lions, among other animals.

Bridie Smith   Eyeballing a cat in the morning isn’t that unusual if you’re a toddler. But eyeballing a big cat at Melbourne Zoo, well, that’s something to brag about at daycare.

New York state to ban fracking, Governor Andrew Cuomo says

Despite widespread fracking in the US, the process remains controversial.

Thomas Kaplan and Jesse Mckinley   Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York state because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction.

Fire ants threaten 2000 Sydney homes

Fire ants

Josh Dye   There are renewed concerns the outbreak of fire ants in Sydney could spread to backyards and playgrounds as the government expands the eradication efforts.

Firefighters braced for swift burning fires this summer

A bushfire that ignited at the bottom of Mount Dandenong or Mount Macedon under dangerous conditions could reach the top of these mountains in less than 10 minutes, the chief officer of the CFA warns.

Darren Gray   A bushfire which ignited at the bottom of Mount Dandenong or Mount Macedon under dangerous conditions could reach the top of these mountains in less than 10 minutes, the chief officer of the CFA has warned on Victoria's worst fire weather day since last summer.

Turtle season begins in Queensland

green sea turtle

Cameron Atfield   Turtle power has been on display up the Queensland coast as shelled reptiles young and old entered or re-entered the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.

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Sydney weather: Dry, gusty thunderstorms headed for the city

Another stormy afternoon ahead for much of Sydney.

Peter Hannam   Gusty winds buffeted parts of Sydney late on Tuesday as a band of dry thunderstorms moved across parts of eastern NSW.

Warm oceans keep world on course for hottest year

Record warm oceans make it likely 2014 will be the hottest year.

Peter Hannam   Ongoing record warmth in the world’s oceans has increased the likelihood that 2014 will be declared the hottest year since reliable data began more than a century ago, US and Japanese agencies say.

'World's biggest orgy' at Great Barrier Reef

 A perfect storm of weather and marine conditions has led to a mass coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef.

Kim Stephens   Rare mass coral spawning delights marine scientists.

Heatwave stays away for Santa's big day

Christmas is set to be mild and sunny.

Robyn Grace   Santa looks set to bring Melburnians a mild and mostly sunny Christmas Day.

Science funding snarled by stalled education bill

Astronomy under a cloud - and much else besides.

Peter Hannam   Scientists in fields ranging from astronomy to nanotechnology and cancer research face an uncertain few months with at least $150 million in key funding tied to the Abbott government’s blocked higher education reform bill.

Total fire ban in Canberra cancelled

ACT Emergency Services have declared a total fire ban and issued a severe fire danger rating for Tuesday.

Emma Kelly   A total fire ban has been cancelled after stormy weather brought rain to much of the Territory on Tuesday morning.

GPS tracking of feral pigs in WA bushland

A group of feral pigs will be monitored to assess the environmental impact they have in WA

Aleisha Orr   The every move of a number of feral pigs will be tracked as part of a research program investigating the life of swine.

Firefly flirtation turns Blue Mountains grove into an enchanted wood

Magical: Fireflies blinking among Australian ferns in the early evening in a sheltered canyon west of Sydney.

Stephanie Wood   A canyon walk to find glow-worms takes another luminescent turn.

NSW cabinet to consider container deposit scheme

NSW consumers would receive a 10-cent refund for recycling bottles and cans under a contentious proposal to go before cabinet on Monday.

Nicole Hasham   NSW consumers would receive a 10-cent refund for recycling bottles and cans under a contentious proposal to go before cabinet on Monday.

Lima tensions may bring storm clouds to Paris

Delegates talk during a break at a plenary session of the UN Climate Change Conference.

Marcus Priest, Lima   Negotiators agreed to a highly watered-down deal that stripped out a formal review.

Marine sites to be studied before protection declared

Long Reef aquatic reserve is one of the marine sites which will be studied by the state government

Peter Hannam   The government is to conduct a year-long study of 11 aquatic sites in the Sydney region as the first step to increasing protection of threatened marine ecosystems.

Lines drawn in shifting sands over climate change

Marcus Priest

Marcus Priest   Countries came to climate change talks in Lima to agree on roadmap to Paris in 2015. They left having faintly drawn lines in the shifting sands of the Peruvian coastal plains.

Rio Tinto linked to collusion on Warkworth coalmine

A Rio Tinto coal truck in the Hunter Valley.

Peter Hannam   The NSW government has been accused of working in “partnership” with mining giant Rio Tinto to circumvent court rejections of a coal mining expansion project in the Hunter Valley.

Welfare groups call on RSPCA NSW to relinquish powers

Animal welfare groups and NSW's chief Animal welfare enforcer, the RSPCA, are at loggerheads over the prosecution of several cases of animal cruelty.

Eryk Bagshaw   Aussie Farms and Animal Liberation NSW have called on RSPCA NSW to relinquish its role as a prosecutor.

Lima climate talks: tough decisions deferred as UN meeting winds up

Environmental activists perform representing leaders, including Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, at climate talks in Lima.

Marcus Priest   Negotiators in Peru are struggling to reach agreement and Australia has been accused of "creative accounting" in the dying hours of the United Nations climate change talks.

World Heritage listed river under threat from pollution -

Clean above mine: The Wollangambe River in the Blue Mountians.

Natalie O'Brien   The world-heritage listed Wollangambe river which runs through some of the most spectacular canyons in the greater Blue Mountains is under threat from  pollution flowing into its upper reaches from a Lithgow coal mine.