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

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 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


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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Send more snow

Smiggin Holes, shown on Wednesday, could do with a dusting.

Peter Hannam   Australia's main ski resorts are anxious for a change in the weather, with a lack of recent snow falls limiting their operations just as school holidays loom in NSW and Victoria.

Adani halts work amid political dispute over approvals

The Abbot Point coal terminal.

Lisa Cox, Amy Remeikis   Preparatory works for Australia's largest coal project have been suspended following a political dispute over mining and environmental approvals.

New renewable energy target to unlock $10b worth of deals, GE says

Abbott has called windfarms ugly and noisy: Investment in renewable energy projects has stalled under his government.

Jason Scott and James Paton   The new renewable energy target will "create thousands of new jobs and grow the order book of hundreds" of companies, General Electrics' Australia chief says.

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Seven ways climate change will transform your home

<i>Illustration: John Shakespeare</i>

Esther Han   From a "thinking" fridge to solar windows, the power to create a better environment is at your fingertips.

Meet China's clean energy upstarts who are $US9 billion richer

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang, China.

Iain Wilson   A new class of clean energy entrepreneurs is emerging in China and creating fabulous wealth -- $US9.13 billion this year alone. Call them the wildcatters of the solar age.

Pakistan's extreme heat prompts state of emergency

A Pakistani man cools down with water at a mosque.

The government has declared a state of emergency in Karachi, Pakistan's largest southern city, after a heatwave killed more than 700 people there and left thousands fighting for their lives at hospitals.

Adelaide to pay for solar batteries to spur 'energy revolution'

Households and businesses will be given incentives to store surplus power in batteries.

Homes and businesses in the centre of Adelaide will be offered financial incentives to connect battery storage to their solar power systems.

Saving the planet will make us healthier, major medical assessment finds

Nobel laureate Peter Doherty will speak at the Australian launch of <i>The Lancet</i>'s special report how climate change threatens human health.

Tom Arup   The best things we can do to improve humans' health turn out to be the same things we must do to address global warming.

Emissions reductions well on track for 2020 target

Greg Hunt didn't end up having to push the government's views on climate change.

Greg Hunt   The government's policies are delivering a significant reduction in emissions that we can take into global talks on climate change.


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.