The Pope on filth and the planet

Julie Power   In nearly two dozen passionate tweets over the past six days, the Pope has called on his followers for immediate action on climate change, warning that the earth was beginning to "look more and more like an immense pile of filth."

UN Climate Conference news

Hillary Clinton sets renewable energy goals, wants more wind, solar power

Pay attention to the need for alternative energy sources, says Hillary Clinton.

Alana Wise   Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called on Sunday for a dramatic national shift to energy sources such as solar and wind, setting a new goal.

UN climate deal draft must be shorter, clearer: Marshall Islands

Steam billows from the cooling towers of brown coal power station behind wind turbines near Cottbus, eastern Germany

Ministers working towards a new UN deal to tackle climate change, due in December, need a negotiating text that is shorter and more manageable than the current draft, the Marshall Islands' foreign minister said after informal talks in Paris.

Shorten to unveil 50% renewables target

Labor leader Bill Shorten

Mark Kenny   Bill Shorten will use this weekend's ALP National Conference in Melbourne to dramatically beef up Labor's renewable energy target, setting an ambitious goal for Australia of half of all large-scale energy production from renewable sources within 15 years.

Forget winter, El Nino fuels record June heatwave

heatwave

Peter Hannam   Global temperature records continued to tumble in June, as the strengthening El Nino in the Pacific combined with background warming from climate change.

Cold now but June the warmest ever

Another record breaking month for global warmth.

Peter Hannam   Last month was the hottest June on record by a wide margin, Japan Meteorological Agency said, increasing the likelihood that 2015 will also be the warmest.

Church of England prays for climate change action

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's church is cutting back on fossil fuel investment

Nicole Hasham   The Church of England has pledged to fast for climate change action and pray for the Paris talks to succeed, urging the world's 70 million Anglicans to take up the global warming fight.

Jones comments on UN climate change report 'inaccurate'

Broadcaster Alan Jones falsely claimed that a 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change draft report had "disproven" the panel's own climate change theories.

Nicole Hasham   He declared a United Nations report on climate change "got it wrong by almost 100 per cent", but shock jock Alan Jones was the one who blundered, Australia's media watchdog has found.

Pacific neighbors facing unaffordable climate change bill: study

The Marshall Islands hit by king tides. It is one of the South Pacific nations researchers say are facing unaffordable costs to protect their coastal buildings.

Tom Arup   Australia's small island neighbours in the South Pacific are facing an enormous bill to protect their buildings and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, one they are unlikely to afford.

Saving China from itself

Hai Zhengjun, 64, in front of his former cave dwelling. The land where Hai and his family live has an average annual rainfall of 300-500 millimetres.

Philip Wen and Sanghee Liu   Large industrialised cities, the engine room of modern China's surging economic growth, are proving the catalyst for an urgent shift in the government's environmental disposition.

China's climate plan: how ambitious and what does it mean for Australia?

China has announced to the UN its plans to tackle carbon dioxide emissions from 2020

Tom Arup   After a few false dawns China has submitted its plans for tackling climate change from 2020 to the United Nations climate negotiations. What does it mean?

China, Brazil move climate talks into fast lane with pledges

The year-end climate summit gathers some more momentum.

Alex Nussbaum   The push for a global deal on climate change picks up speed from Latin America to Asia, with the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitter and the steward of its largest rainforest pledging new measures to curb warming.

China intensifies carbon reduction and reaffirms 2030 emissions target

Chinese commuters wear face masks as heavy air pollution shrouds Beijing in February 2014. China's cities are often hit by heavy pollution, blamed on coal-burning by power stations and industry, as well as vehicle use.

Philip Wen   China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has submitted a new carbon intensity reduction target to the United Nations while reaffirming its goal to curb carbon emissions by 2030, or 'even earlier'.

100 billion reasons a global climate pact may fall apart

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

Alex Nussbaum   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.

US Supreme Court blocks Obama's limits on power plants

President Barack Obama suffers a defeat in the courts.

ADAM LIPTAK and CORAL DAVENPORT   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.

Wind farm inquiry is not a case of nanny state intervention

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

Peter Hannam   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.

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

Solar panels on the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club.

Kieran Gair   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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.

Warm crimes: The bid to put 'toxic' carbon in the dock

Portrait of Justice Brian Preston, chief judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW. Photographed at the Land & Environment Court. Tuesday 9th June 2015. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH NEWS 150609

Peter Hannam   Will island nations be able to sue for damages if their lands become inundated by rising sea levels caused by climate change?

12 reasons why you should drive an electric car

Electric cars recharging on a Paris street.

Peter Hannam   The price may be prohibitive, but the benefits of going all-electric are manifold.

Coal: is the future really black?

State-based Mining Councils have agitated for the charity status of environmental groups to be revoked.

Peter Ker   Will action on climate change kill coal or will developing world demand sustain this increasingly controversial commodity?

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Climate change Q & A: the basic climate facts

Everything you wanted to know about climate change but were afraid to ask

Direct Action: success or not?

The government is claiming vindication, but Australia is still 'miles away from any credible post 2020 emissions goal', says The Climate Institute.

Obama lets loose over climate change

Accompanied by his 'anger translator', President Obama gets heated over climate change at the White House correspondents' dinner.

Will Direct Action work?

Bidding for pollution-reduction funding starts on Wednesday, but the Climate Institute's Erwin Jackson doubts the scheme will achieve its targets.

'Ground zero' for USA climate change

Fairfax correspondent Nick O'Malley visits Miami, a rich, prosperous city which is starting to drown.

Nations agree climate plan

U.N. conference approves building blocks of a Paris Climate Deal in 2015 amid warnings far tougher action will be needed. Paul Chapman reports

'Outrage' at climate stance

Australia's decision not to contribute to a global climate fund has been greeted by outrage and disbelief at an international conference in Peru, according to the Climate Institute.

NASA launches rocket with satellite to track climate change

An unmanned Delta 2 rocket lifts off from California carrying a NASA satellite to measure how much water is in Earth's soil, information that will help track climate change.