Latest environment news

UN climate conference Paris 2015: Kevin Rudd critiques Malcolm Turnbull

Tom Arup 9:49 AM   You could be forgiven for thinking Kevin Rudd would have had enough of climate summits.

The unusual journey of Yeb Sano, former climate negotiator

Yeb Sano, a former climate negotiator for the Philippines, has taken up civil action on global warming.

Peter Hannam 3:40 PM   Few people in the history of climate conferences so personified the threat of global warming than Yeb Sano, a negotiator from the Philippines, who wept openly during the Warsaw talks just days after super typhoon Haiyan swept over his nation.

The hard grind of climate negotiations begins as leaders depart Paris

French President Francois Hollande shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrives at the climate conference in Paris.

Tom Arup and Peter Hannam, Paris 7:38 PM   Tens of thousands of delegates have started turning their mind to the hard grind of the Paris climate negotiators, with divisions over the who should bear responsibility for global warming between rich nations and major developing countries - in particular India - chief among the issues to be navigated.

Malcolm Turnbull's UNSW solar promotion 'absolutely great,' say academics

New focus and funding ... The roof's the limit for solar energy following the UN climate summit in Paris.

Peter Hannam 7:00 AM   The University of NSW expects interest in its solar energy research will be "vastly" boosted following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's decision to highlight the school's achievements in his speech to world leaders at the Paris climate summit.

'It inspires us': Turnbull tells Paris summit he is energised by tackling climate change

Australia's PM Malcolm Turnbull told world leaders at the Paris summit  the government would double the $100-million-a-year investment in clean technology research.

Tom Arup and Peter Hannam   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared to the Paris climate summit that Australia was "not daunted" by the challenge of a warming planet and would ratify the second phase of the world's only current climate change agreement - the Kyoto Protocol.

Turnbull blazes the path of least resistance at Paris climate talks

Malcolm Turnbull gave a safe speech to world leaders in Paris that was short on details about climate action.

File photo.

Peter Hannam   Turnbull opts for a safe speech at Paris climate conference, knowing he has little to gain from stirring opponents of climate change action within his Coalition at this point.

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Two leaders. Two honeymoons. But a very different day at the Paris climate talks.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, French President Francois Hollande, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at the Paris summit.

Tom Arup and Peter Hannam   The new and - as it has become mandatory to point out, startlingly good looking - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in a triumphant mood.

Australia rejects fossil fuel pledge at the Paris UN Climate Conference 2015

Francois Hollande greets Malcolm Turnbull as he arrives for the UN climate conference.

Tom Arup   Australia will not sign up to a statement of support for reform of fossil fuel subsidies after Prime Minsiter Malcolm Turnbull made a last minute call to break the news to New Zealand counterparts on Sunday night in Paris.

Meet Micah. Is he a climate change refugee?

Micah Puia at Lord Howe Settlement in Honiara. Is he a climate change refugee?

Adam Morton and Tom Arup   Micah Puia lives in a shanty town on a dirty beach in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. He is 11-years-old, and has lived here all his life. According to some here, Micah has spent his whole life as a climate change refugee. And he will soon be forced to move.

Australian coast mapped under plan released at Paris climate summit

The Gold Coast's new casino will be built next to Sea World at the Spit.

Tom Arup and Peter Hannam, Paris 3:11 PM   Australia will carry out an assessment of its entire coastline to project levels of future flooding from rising sea-levels in a project that could help form national standards for how close homes should be allowed to be built to shorelines.

5 things we learnt today at Paris talks

Participants look at a presentation robot in front of China's pavillon at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Tom Arup and Peter Hannam, Paris 1:41 PM   A mix of the serious and the less so, as seen through the eyes and lenses of participants to the world's biggest ever summit to tackle global warming.

While Melbourne melted ... Mount Buller was dusted with summer snow

Buller had a dusting of fresh snow on the second day of summer, ahead of mountain bike season on Saturday.

Liam Mannix 12:36 PM   It might have been 34 degrees in Melbourne on Tuesday, but it was snowing in the Alps.

A path beyond the Paris climate change conference

In some countries with growing power demands, such as China (pictured), research found that nuclear power would be essential for staying within a strict emissions budget.

Justin Gillis 1:33 AM   The pledges countries have signalled they will make in Paris over the next two weeks to cut emissions will inevitably fall short of what is needed to solve the problem of climate change.

Animals are showing up in really strange places - this is the surprising reason why

In 2010, a lone grey whale was spotted in the North Atlantic - the first sighting in about 200 years.

Chelsea Harvey 9:57 PM   How climate change is breaking down the barrier between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Confine cats or face $1500 fine


Kirsten Lawson 9:42 PM   Residents in two more ACT suburbs will face fines for letting their feline friends roam free.

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Bill Gates plots a surprise attack on the energy sector

Bill Gates, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, hopes to turbocharge the Paris climate talks with a massive investment.

Bruce Wallace 8:30 PM   Bill Gates grows most animated when the talk turns to the "cool" new energy technologies that have yet to leave the lab.

Sydney swelters on first day of summer

Surfers swarm on Bondi Beach for the first day of summer, as temperatures hit 38 degrees.

Michael Koziol 6:15 PM   Summer has arrived in both name and deed, with temperatures across Sydney soaring above 30 degrees on the first day of the season.

Call for action against Japanese whaling as Royal Navy heads south

Japanese whalers with a minke whale alongside in the Antarctic in 2014

Andrew Darby 5:10 PM   Britain has taken a stand beside Australia against renewed Japanese whaling, as it sends a naval fisheries patrol to the Antarctic.

Two crocodiles fight to the death in one-sided battle in tropical North Queensland

Crocodile fight, Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park in North Queensland.

Marcus Strom and Amy Mitchell-Whittington   Two crocodiles have been snapped by a photographer in a fight to the death in tropical North Queensland.

'This is not new money': Government accused of repackaging climate aid gift

Malcolm Turnbull addresses the Paris climate summit.

Nicole Hasham   The Turnbull government repackaged its existing spending on helping poor nations combat climate change and implied it was a new commitment in a "deeply disappointing" move on the world stage in Paris, according to the peak body for Australian aid agencies.

Albatross ready to lay an egg again, at 64

Wisdom, the Laysan albatross, is the world's oldest known, banded, wild bird.

Darryl Fears   The oldest known bird to lay an egg and raise a chick landed last week at the Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, apparently to do it again, at age 64.

How Obama learned from 'a mess' of a climate deal to forge a new agreement in Paris

Barack Obama tells the Paris climate conference the US embraces "our responsibility to do something about" climate change.

Michael A. Memoli   Barack Obama learned from the setback of the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, and applied those lessons towards flight climate change. They may bear fruit in Paris.

Lakes forming on Mount Everest’s glaciers

Researchers have noted the appearances of ponds of meltwater on Khumbu Glacier.

Sarah Kaplan 7:30 PM   Pools of meltwater forming atop Khumbu Glacier are "best visual representation of how fast these glaciers are changing," researcher Duncan Quincey said.

Barack Obama says Paris climate summit an 'act of defiance' after terror attacks

Obama speaking at the conference centre in Le Bourget, Paris.

Tom Arup and Peter Hannam   The old arguments against action on climate change 'have been broken,' United State President Barack Obama has told the first full day of the Paris climate summit, while his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has declared the conference should chart a course for green development.

Why the so-called 'Frankenfish' represents the future of seafood

A genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon, rear, and non-modified sibling of the same age.

James Greiff 7:30 PM   The groups against the genetically modified salmon usually emphasise their devotion to scientific evidence. Not this time.

Australia to double clean energy research spending under Obama-led push

Malcolm Turnbull arrives at Le Bourget Airport in Paris ahead of the UN climate conference,  accompanied by his wife Lucy and welcomed by Australian ambassador in France, Stephen Brady.

Tom Arup in Paris and Mark Kenny in Canberra   Australia has signed-up to a multi-billion dollar global innovation plan that will require it to double its investment in clean energy research and development over the next five years.

Canberra's November temperatures two degrees above average

A blue bottle at Moruya Heads, snapped by Alan Nicol on his iPhone for the Canberra Times spring photo competition.

Katie Burgess and Nicola Sheville   November proved to be a warm chaser to a thirsty October, with temperatures hovering two degrees above average.

Security tight as Paris climate conference to begin

Policemen fight with activists during a protest at the place de la Republique, in Paris ahead of the climate conference.

Kim Hjelmgaard   France has implemented exceptional security measures as nearly 150 world leaders gathered for a climate change summit barely two weeks after the multiple terrorist attacks that struck the French capital.

Australian meteorologist talks climate change, then and now

Then: John Zillman, in 1981. He  has seen climate science take leaps and bounds during his career.

Lucy Cormack   One of Australia's oldest meteorologists says there is one storm event during his career that stands out like no other.

Sydney set for second hottest spring on record

"We're more likely to break high temperature records and less likely to break cool temperature records": climatologist Acacia Pepler.

Lisa Visentin   Sydney is on track to experience its second hottest Spring on record, with November expected to crack the top five hottest Novembers since record-keeping began, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.