Why AGL is going 'green' for Paris

Lucy Cormack   Australia's largest carbon emitter is embracing a radical new commitment to climate policy and carbon pricing, marking a shift for the energy giant ahead of the UN Paris climate talks in December.

UN Climate Conference news

Australia left 'flat-footed' as Paris climate pact takes shape

The working draft for the Paris climate summit includes an option to negotiate for a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees rather than 2 degrees.

Peter Hannam   Countries should agree to review their carbon emission reduction policies every five years to ensure dangerous global warming can be avoided, according to a draft United Nations agreement being circulated before the Paris summit due to start next month.

Toughen climate action every five years, Paris summit draft suggests

Emissions will come under regular reviews, according to a draft of the Paris summit accord being discussed.

All nations should agree to toughen curbs on greenhouse gas emissions every five years under a UN accord to combat global warming due in December, according to a first suggested text of a UN agreement on Monday.

Climate change laws stymied by big business 'hypocrites'

Rio Tinto earned an  "E+" for what the Union of Concerned Scientists called its "hypocrites" grading.

Peter Hannam   BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and the Business Council of Australia have been ranked as among the world's largest companies and industry groups that are holding back action on climate change, according to a new survey.

August smashes global heat record as giant El Nino builds

An El Nino in the Pacific is helping to drive global temperatures higher.

Peter Hannam   Global temperature records continue to tumble, with August easily the hottest in 124 years of data, Japan's Meteorological Agency says.

58 metres - how much sea levels would lift if we burn all fossil fuels

Melting moments: Neko Harbour, Antarctica.

Peter Hannam   Burning all available fossil fuels would "eliminate" the giant ice sheets of Antarctica and lift sea levels by 58 metres, enough to inundate major coastal cities, according to US and Europe-based researchers.

France's Hollande says climate talks could fail over financing issue

French President Francois Hollande says climate talks will face a key hurdle.

​French President Francois Hollande warned on Monday that climate change talks in Paris later this year could fail especially if the issue of financing for emerging nations was not resolved.

Energy emissions rebound, led by power sector

Coal-fired power plants contributed to a 3.3 per cent jump in emissions in the first year after the carbon price ended.

Peter Hannam   Australia's greenhouse gas emissions from energy use jumped by almost 10 million tonnes in the first year after the end of the carbon price, making it harder for the Abbott government to meet its goals of reducing carbon pollution.

Sun-drenched miners look to the skies


David Stringer and Paul Allen   Miners including Rio Tinto and Newmont are installing solar plants, betting they'll deliver long-term savings.

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Abbott government aid for coal industry unwise: ex-EU climate chief

Connie Hedegaard, international climate expert and former EU Commissioner for Climate Action.

Peter Hannam   Abbott government subsidies for the coal industry including the proposed mega-mines of Queensland's Galilee basin would not be "wise", Connie Hedegaard, the former European Commissioner for Climate Action, said.

Australia's carbon emissions show 'disturbing increase' amid record global heat

Emissions on the rise in the power sector: Bayswater Power Station in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Peter Hannam   The Abbott government says Australia remains on track to lower greenhouse gas emissions even though total pollution edged higher in the March quarter compared with a year earlier.

China emissions overstated: study

China's carbon emissions may be less than assumed, new study claims.

International organisations could be overestimating emissions from China because of problems in the way they calculate their data, says a study published by Nature.

Australia's climate goals 'weak', says former Obama adviser

The brown coal Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley.

Peter Hannam   The Abbott government's 2030 carbon emissions reduction goal is "weak" and Australia should show "real leadership" on the issue of global warming, says a former top climate adviser to US President Barack Obama.

Muslim scholars prepare call for action to combat climate change

Muslim leaders are likely to echo Pope Francis's call for more action against global warming.

Alex Morales   Islamic scholars and religious leaders are preparing a call for action on climate change that will say it's the religious duty of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to fight global warming.

Rich nations' climate plans fall short of hopes for Paris summit

The world needs to cut carbon emissions by a lot more than currently promised, experts say.

​Developed nations are on track to cut their greenhouse emissions by almost 30 per cent by 2030, Reuters calculations show, falling far short of a halving suggested by a UN panel of scientists as a fair share to limit climate change.

UN climate expert warns Australia's emissions target should not be final offer


Nicole Hasham   Australia should not attend global talks in Paris refusing to budge on its greenhouse gas emission pledge, the UN's scientific body on climate change says, ahead of expected international pressure on the Abbott government to do better.

Abbott plan to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent

The Abbott government confirmed its emission reduction targets on Tuesday.

Nicole Hasham, Latika Bourke and Lisa Cox   Cutting Australia's carbon emissions by at least 26 per cent by 2030 is a responsible move that does not sacrifice the economy for the environment, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

Barack Obama unveils ambitious climate plan

US President Barack Obama speaks about the Clean Power Plan at the White House.

Nick O'Malley   Republicans immediately declare their opposition, with some state governors expected to challenge plan in the courts.

Obama's Climate push sets up battle reminiscent of Obamacare

President Barack Obama wants the US to lead on climate change action.

Mark Drajem and Angela Greiling Keane   ​President Barack Obama unveiled a landmark set of regulations to combat climate change in a plan that requires US states to cut emissions from power plants, setting up a red-state, blue-state battle reminiscent of Obamacare.

Coal in the crosshairs

Mine workers Adam Powell and Darrin Francis, at the Springvale mine near Lithgow.

Peter Hannam   No longer 'a favoured' child, the coal industry is under siege from market forces and that's before the Paris climate summit and its potential curbs on fossil fuels.

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


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.


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.