Latest environment news

US Supreme Court blocks Obama's limits on power plants

ADAM LIPTAK and CORAL DAVENPORT 7:08 AM   The US Supreme Court on Monday blocked one of the Obama administration's most ambitious environmental initiatives: an Environmental Protection Agency regulation meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

100 billion reasons a global climate pact may fall apart

Heavy load: poorer nations often bear the bulk of extreme weather events.

Alex Nussbaum 8:06 AM   The richest nations still haven't convinced the rest of the world they're willing to pick up the tab to help curb climate change, diplomats warned at a United Nations conference Monday.

Wind farm inquiry is not a case of nanny state intervention

Wind turbines emit infrasound but is it enough to cause illness?

Peter Hannam 4:53 PM   Libertarian senator David Leyonhjelm says there is no contradiction between his role on a Senate inquiry into wind farm noise and his leadership of a separate committee investigating the rise of a "nanny state" in Australia.

Springvale mine expansion gets PAC nod despite concerns

Lake Burragorang, behind Warragamba Dam, Sydney's main reservoir.

Peter Hannam 7:26 PM   The NSW Planning Assessment Commission has given conditional approval for the proposed extension of the underground Springvale coal mine despite concerns from government agencies that the expansion will affect Sydney's water quality.

People, not policy, are deciding on a future powered by renewables

Solar panels on the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club.

Kieran Gair 11:00 AM   First, the local bowlo signed up. Then the churches. Step into the NSW town where people, not policy, are deciding on a future driven by renewables.

Deformed mutt named World's Ugliest Dog

Rascal, a Chinese Crested, is poses for a portrait after competing in the World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, California on June 26, 2015. Quasi Modo went on to win first prize as the ugliest dog in the competition.  AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON

10:16 AM   A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects have left him a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of the annual World's Ugliest Dog contest.

Peabody shares dive after Moody's cuts biggest US coal miner's credit rating

Investors show their impatience with more bad news for coal.

Tim Loh   Peabody Energy Corp., the largest US coal producer, plunged to record lows Friday after Moody's Investors Service downgraded its credit rating.

Solar Impulse takes off on delayed Pacific flight

The ground crew pushes Solar Impulse 2 as pilot Andre Borschberg sits in the cockpit at Nagoya Airport.

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

Climate marchers gather to show strong support for Pope

Bolivian faithful carry a statue of blessed Virgin at the end of a Sunday Angelus prayer by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican.

ELISABETTA POVOLEDO   People from across the religious spectrum come out to back Pope Francis and his encyclical on the environment.

Home builders feel the cost of solar access rules

Karan Oberoi shows the excavation done at
his daughter's Bonner home to comply with solar overshadowing rules.

David Ellery   Solar access compliance costs family $35,000.

Women go ape over ripped gorilla

Giant male gorilla Shabani, weighing around 180kg, at the Higashiyama Zoo.

A giant gorilla with brooding good looks and rippling muscles is causing a stir at a Japanese zoo, with women flocking to check out the hunky pin-up.

Penguin-hunting fox shot dead at North Head

The lone fox that's been wreaking havoc on Manly fairy penguins is now dead.

Michael Koziol, Kate Aubusson    A lone fox's reign of terror in Sydney's northern beaches has come to an end, after rangers trapped and shot the predator early on Saturday morning.

Could dams destroy south-east Asia's greatest river and food bowl?

KHONE FALLS, LAOS - May 7, 2015: A local fisherman carries rocks to build a fish trap along the Mekong River.  Fisherman are worried that the construction of the Don Sahong Dam will disrupt the flow the Mekong and migration of fish.   
Conservationists and politicians are warning the quest for hydropower is threatening the food supply of more than 40 million people in the Mekong basin.
(Photo by Jason South - Fairfax Media)

Lindsay Murdoch   Conservationists and politicians are warning the quest for hydro power is threatening the food supply of more than 40 million people in the Mekong basin.

Carbon-polluting coastal developers headed for big blue

Scientist Peter Macreadie says wetlands bury carbon faster than trees and keep it from escaping for much longer.

John Elder   Coastal developers should be paying to offset air pollution from the tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere when wetlands are drained and dug up, says marine ecologist Dr Peter Macreadie.

Meet Julia Gillard - in feline form

Julia Gillard the cat, set to be part of Canberra's first cat cafe.

Kimberley Le Lievre   Meet Julia Gillard - in feline form.

Canberra owners turning to specialised cremations to farewell their pets

Melinda Parrett organised a private cremation for her dog, Remmington.

Emma Kelly   Pet owners are farewelling their furry and feathered babies in ways more akin to a human family member.

Glacial earthquakes help researchers track massive ice loss

Melting ice is changing the pressure on parts of the Earth's crust.

Amina Khan   Glaciers might move slowly, but they have their dramatic moments. Scientists tracking glacial earthquakes in Greenland have managed to crack open the mysterious dynamics of calving icebergs.

Manly's little penguin population under threat from lone fox

Little penguins are a common sight around the Manly area.

Kate Aubusson   A lone fox has killed 26 fairy penguins in Sydney's northern beaches, threatening the endangered colony during breeding season.

Australia in the climate spotlight ahead of Paris summit

Pressure on Australia is rising ahead of the Paris summit.

Tom Arup and Adam Morton   2nd Degree: Australia's next move on climate change is being keenly awaited by everyone from the superpowers to tiny island nations.

Genome mapping could find a way to finally give blowflies the flick

Melbourne University's Clare Anstead with her blowfly test subjects.

Bridie Smith, Science Editor   Don't let its beautiful name and shimmering green body fool you. The Australian sheep blowfly Lucilia cuprina is a nasty parasite.

Pakistan heatwave death toll passes 1000

The death toll from Pakistan's killer heatwave has risen past 1000, with more fatalities expected, as cloud cover and lower temperatures brought some relief to the worst-hit city Karachi.

Snuff out internal push by climate sceptic conservatives: farmers

Kirrily and Derek Blomfield, the NSW farmers of the year.

Heath Aston   Farmers are circulating an open letter calling on the Liberal Party to kill off an internal push to derail Australia making meaningful commitments at the upcoming Paris climate talks.

Green shoots for wind farms

Off the ground: a new wind farm gets the nod.

Peter Hannam   The bipartisan deal to cut the renewable energy target for 2020 by about one-fifth has at least restored some certainty to the industry.

Sleepy hollows' shortage big drama for cockatoos

A female Major Mitchell's Cockatoo at the entrance to a nest.

Bridie Smith   If you think it's tough to break into the housing market in Melbourne, spare a thought for the state's Major Mitchell Cockatoos.

One bluebottle washes up on New Jersey beach, panic ensues

The bluebottle, or Portuguese Man O' War, that washed up on the beach in New Jersey.

Megan Levy   One small bluebottle has caused panic on the shores of New Jersey. 

Pakistan heat wave death toll reaches 830

A child suffering from dehydration waits for a medical help at a hospital in Karachi on Wednesday.

Saba Imtiaz   A run of four days of punishing heat has killed several hundred people in Karachi, with temperatures soaring as high as 45C during the fasting month of Ramadan, when Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset.

Abbott, Hunt confronted by anti-climate science push from within party

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Australia is extremely well positioned for the energy revolution that is afoot.

Heath Aston   Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing a push from inside the Liberal Party to prevent Australia signing up to any binding emissions reduction targets at the upcoming Paris climate talks.

Climate changing costs for insurers


Ruth Liew   Putting houses in harm's way could cost insurers plenty as climate change intensifies.

Dutch government ordered to speed up greenhouse gas emissions cuts

Emissions cuts are too low, a Dutch court finds.

A district court ordered the Dutch government on Wednesday to ensure that the Netherlands reduces greenhouse gas emissions at a faster rate than currently targeted.

Pakistan heatwave death toll soars

Pakistani relatives mourn the death of a heatstroke victim outside a hospital in Karachi.

More than 800 people have died from a three-day heatwave in southern Pakistan as medics battle to treat victims after a state of emergency was declared in hospitals.