“In our vision for the future, chimneys will no longer feature on new houses nor exhaust pipes on new cars,” ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said. Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

Transport and heating sectors can ‘deliver immediate and longer-term solutions’

A technical rescue unit of the fire service drives through flood water in Mountmellick, Co Laois, after three rivers burst their banks and flooded dozens of homes. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Gerald Fleming uses detailed analysis to predict Irish weather patterns

Green Party  leader Eamon Ryan with Catherine Martin TD: “One of the reasons why Ireland is now ranking so low in international climate action league tables is because we are seen in Europe as one of the countries which is trying to block new clean energy solutions,” he said. Photograph: Eric Luke

Green Party and others say householders and community groups could sell energy back to electricity grid

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan: “The judgment recognises, for the first time, that there is a constitutional right to an environment that is consistent with the human dignity and wellbeing of citizens at large.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Right to environment ‘an essential condition’ for all human rights, says judge

Trinity team examines bursts of radiation on sun called solar flares

The European Food Safety Authority is reviewing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and their potential impacts on pollinators such as bees. Photograph: Getty Images

European food watchdog running rule over impact of chemicals on pivotal pollinators

The message from Bonn was that more and more countries were ramping up their actions to cut climate pollution, said Friends of the Earth Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland exposed as worst performer in Europe on Climate Change Performance Index

A man with a mask of US president Donald Trump during a performance created by Danish artist Jens Galschiot during the COP23 conference in Bonn. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Latest UN talks leave US isolated – although Ireland is no climate change angel either

As a consequence of COP23, countries will be expected to come forward in the next few years with new targets that match scientific advice on climate change. Photograph: Getty Images

Developing countries, including small island nations, insist on temperature-rise limit

People dressed  in polar bear costumes and a man with a Donald Trump mask during a performance by Danish artist Jens Galschiot during the COP23 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

COP23: Greater understanding of what is needed to cut emissions linked to farming

Fijis attorney general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at  the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn. Small island states of the South Pacific who are threatened by climate change feel the world has at started to respond to their plight.  Photograph: Alister Doyle/Reuters.

Small island states threatened by climate change hope rise in sea levels can be stymied

A replica of the Statue of Liberty emitting smoke from the torch created by Danish artist Jens Galschiot  at the Rheinaue park during the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland likely to miss greenhouse gas reduction targets despite efforts to tackle agricultural emissions

Chancellor Angela Merkel told delegates that withdrawing from coal use was on the agenda in talks to form a new government. Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Case against coal ‘unequivocal’, says UK climate minister

Germany chancellor Angela Merkel and  French president Emmanuel Macron at the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany,  which is under the presidency of Fiji.  Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA

Former president of Ireland calls for ‘trillions of dollars’ to build infrastructure

French president Emmanuel Macron poses for a selfie with volunteers and spectators at  the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn.  Photograph: EPA

Delegation asks for clarity on Ireland’s position on emission reduction targets

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron at the  UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany: They said  the Paris agreement on climate change would be fully implemented. Photograph: Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

Europe to take lead global role in absence of US, Merkel and Macron tell COP23

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten: Ireland has committed €175 million for international climate action over the 2016-2020 period. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil spokesman says developing world is suffering because of Ireland’s emissions

Denis Naughten  has said the Government also agreed ‘to support developing countries through sharing information and expertise around our Irish Aid programmes’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Naughten says Ireland will provide additional €2.5m to international climate action

  Greenpeace activists  protest  on the river Rhine during the UN climate change conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany: Ireland  has fallen 28 places to 49th out of 56 countries ranked in the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index. Photograph:   Sascha Steinbach/EPA

State 49th out of 56 countries in report that points to positive renewable energy trend

A fossil-fuel free society is economically attractive: renewable energy sources increasingly compete with fossil fuels, even when these are priced at historic lows. Photograph: Getty Images

From accelerating sea-level rise to ocean acidification and a risk of extreme weather

Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson has said she has become more optimistic about the global response to climate change. File photograph: Peter Murtagh/The Irish Times

COP23 debate in Bonn told it is critical to ensure all have access to renewable energy

The Niederaussem coal-fired power plant operated by German utility RWE. Photograph:   Lukas Schulze/Getty

New maths model takes into account GDP, gas emissions and population growth

Science Foundation Ireland director-general Prof Mark Ferguson said the winners of the 2017 SFI awards reflected “the very best outputs and achievements of the Irish research community”.

State in top 10 globally for quality of scientific research, Dublin summit told

Activists hold a sit-in at  COP23 in Bonn. Photograph: Epa/Philipp Guelland

Greater coal use and Chinese economic growth blamed for record emissions

Winning formula: Reed (5)  Barry and Alexa (2)  Barry scrutinise some samples in Cork as part of Science Week Ireland. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Only 68% of the public agree ‘climate change is mostly due to human activity’

Ireland’s progress is in spite of low levels of investment in health services compared to other developed countries and most EU members states

Ireland close to best performing countries in terms of low dementia rates

Shanghai endures the smog. Analysts predict a surge in the price of carbon permits, the emissions allowances traded among industrial polluters. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland keen to reconcile the need to decarbonise with sustainable food production

Research confirms damage to bee populations from chemical used on crops

EU poised to publish list of 55 new major gas projects considered for public funding

Chair of the Citizen’s Assembly,  the Honourable Ms Mary Laffoy: the 13 proposed measures that emerged are rooted in pragmatism vital for what’s immediately facing Ireland and the world. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Climate change is a pressing moral issue and action is needed for future’s benefit

Ms  Justice Mary Laffoy   said she expected there would be a thought provoking and robust discussion on how the State can become a leader in tackling climate change.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Government’s hypocritical stance on climate change must come to an end, says Trócaire

CO2 in the atmosphere is now increasing 100 times faster than at the end of the last Ice Age due to population growth, intensive agriculture, deforestation and industrialisation. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Rise due to human activity and an El Niño climate effect

A Bank of American Merrill Lynch survey suggests that electric vehicles will account for 12%  of global car sales by 2025, 34%  by 2030, and 90%  by 2050. Photograph: Getty Images

Initiative in budget of one-year trial to be available for three to five years

Cara Konig-Brock, owner of Beaulieu House in Drogheda, Co Louth. The solar farm will combine “modern technology with a very traditional place, almost in a time warp”. Photograph: Garrett White

The 17th-century Beaulieu House will soon be home to a large solar energy farm

Prof Chris Rapley: evidence shows human activity is “interfering with the life-support system of the Earth”. Photograph: Iain White

Engaging stories best means of combating denial over climate, says Prof Chris Rapley

Tom Parlon rejected suggestions that CIRI lacked independence and transparency. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Construction industry needs an effective building control system, says expert

Stacks of empty plastic bottles, which can be employed for inventive, useful structures such as greenhouses. File photograph: Getty Images

Promoting a circular economy: Ireland still wasting valuable materials that can be reused

Tánaiste  Frances Fitzgerald tries out wearable technology with Tyndall National Institute chairman and acting chief executive Eoin O’Driscoll at the Tyndall Technology Days conference in Cork. Photograph: Gerard McCarthy

Virtual reality: Tánaiste tries on wearable tech for size at Cork technology conference

The EPA says waste water is one of the main threats to water quality in Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

EPA says failure to tackle sewage-treatment deficiencies poses unacceptable risks

Irish Water says when it  took over responsibility for water and waste water in 2014 it “prioritised the health of our customers by focusing on improving drinking water”.  Photograph: Getty Images

Company’s head of asset management says it delivered 66 new or upgraded plants in 2016

Indications of waste water discharges into Dublin’s River Liffey at Ringsend on Sunday

Treatment plant reached capacity limit due to heavy rainfall, says local politician

Irish Water: the EPA criticises persistent delays on infrastructure projects. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Raw sewage discharges likely to continue in 31 areas into 2021

The Irish Pharmacy Union has confirmed 78,935 people were vaccinated across 762 pharmacies in the 2016/2017 flu season. Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

HSE vaccination may only be partially effective with Australian and Chinese strains

 A total of 1,000 farmers will have participated in the programme by the end of 2017, with detailed resource efficiency assessments completed on 38 farms. Photograph: Oktay Ortakcioglu/E+/Getty

New initiative is good for environment and saves an average of €8,700 per farm

Air pollution is the worst type of fatal pollution, linked to 6.5 million deaths in 2015, according to a global investigation  published in The Lancet.  File photograph: Getty Images

‘Lancet’ findings: Most detailed review of pollution impact on global health ever compiled

The humble household stove could be responsible for serious levels of air pollution in Ireland, depending on what fuels are going into it. File photograph: Getty Images

Such fuels promoted as ‘low-carbon’ but are devastating in terms of air pollution – expert

Fifth-year students from Tallaght Community School preparing for their first contact with  the International Space Station. Photograph: Colin O’Riordan/’Irish Independent’

Tallaght school has ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to contact International Space Station

 Irish mathematician, research meteorologist, academic and Irish Times columnist, Dr Peter Lynch has been honoured as this year’s recipient of the Maths Week Ireland Award for his contribution to raising public awareness of maths, pictured receiving his award from Sheila Donegan of Maths Week Ireland.

Mathematician, meteorologist and ‘Irish Times’ columnist praised for work

  Irish Water managing director Jerry Grant   at the National Emergency Co-ordination Centre on Tuesday: he acknowledged there was “a very significant water deficit across the south of the country”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

ESB works to restore power at 30 wastewater plants and sewage pumping stations

An aircraft flies past buildings in the Canary Wharf district of London as Saharan dust carried by  Ophelia filters sunlight. Photograph: REUTERS/Tom Jacobs

Ophelia leaves stamp on skyline after creating giant sunlight filter in upper atmosphere

A man uses a chainsaw to to cut up a fallen tree on a road to  Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

How prepared are we for events like Monday’s storm?

A visualisation of the path of Storm Ophelia as it was expected to hit Ireland, from the Earthwindmap website

Climate change didn’t cause the storm, but may have helped it travel further north

An artist’s rendering of the merger of two neutron stars.  Image: Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science via The New York Times

Irish scientists contribute to research on event that ‘opened new window to the Universe’

Movement Strategies is a world-leading consultancy in London that analyses the movements of people.  Photograph: Getty Images

Aoife Hunt uses maths to work out ways to evacuate buildings safely in emergencies

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten insisted: ‘This is a fair deal for Ireland and a good day for climate.’ File image: Reuters/Yves Herman

Government accused by campaigners of playing ‘very negative role’ in negotiations

Prof Marc de Smet: “We anticipate that procedures currently off-limits will now be feasible, such as facilitating the delivery of gene therapy to the retina.” Photograph: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic

Key advantage is a high level of precision for very delicate surgery, conference is told

Europe’s commitment to the Paris accord on climate change reaches a critical point on Friday with negotiations between member states on the EU’s ‘cornerstone measures’

Government accused of using loopholes to reduce its commitment to curbing carbon emissions

Displaced people wait for rations in Bria, Central African Republic. About half the country’s 4.6 million citizens are undernourished. Photograph: Cassandra Vinograd/Washington Post/Getty Images

Nearly half of countries in Global Hunger Index at ‘alarming’ or ‘serious’ levels

“We expected to at least see some moves toward disincentivising diesel use given the growing body of evidence on the damaging impact of its use on our climate and health.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Environmental groups disappointed at lack of move to equalise cost of diesel and petrol

Concerns over wild salmon. File photograph of wild Atlantic salmon. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Three of the 65 salmon found in the Delphi, Erriff, Kylemore/Dawros, Newport and Bunowen rivers were fully-grown males with the a(...)

The European Southern Observatory  provides astronomers with state-of-the-art research facilities and access to the southern sky. Photograph: Martin Bernetti

European Southern Observatory membership to boost skills in data analytics and software

A one-year change to BIK on electric vehicles is likely to have little impact:  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

One-year scheme estimated to cost just €500,000 as diesel prices left untouched

Áine Lawlor with her mother Anne. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Anne Lawlor set up a support group after finding little support for those with the genetic syndrome ‘q22’ and its associated schiz(...)

Research likely to open up a new front in treatment of schizophrenia

The mauve stinger: one of the two varieties of jellyfish responsible for the salmon kills.  File photograph: Franco Banfi/Getty Images

Deaths at highest level since 250,000 fish killed in Northern Ireland in 2008

IFA chairman Angus Woods and  IFA president Joe Healy during a protest outside the EU Commission in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Irish farmers dispute Mercosur claim Brazil will meet EU meat production standards

A National Biodiversity Action Plan for the period 2017-2021 was launched by Ciaran O’Keeffe, Prof Yvonne Buckley, Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys TD and Matthew Jebb at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. Photograph: Maxwells

Biodiversity expert says ‘these species are the canary in the coal mine’ for human health

Photograph: Thinkstock

Irish Cancer Society says UK study raises ‘very valid issues’

Previous research indicated autism spectrum disorder most likely develops in the womb and that a mother’s diet during pregnancy could have an influence. Photograph: Getty Images

Study finds children whose mothers took vitamins were less likely to develop autism

Saoirse Ronan featured in a Bord Bia advertising campaign for Origin Green

Irish Wildlife Trust says official certificate a marketing tactic and example of ‘greenwash’

 Mount Agung volcano is obscured by clouds. Photograph: Sonny Tumbelaka/Getty

Volcanic activity will be ‘joker in the pack’ for world climate, new study predicts

Native Irish honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. Photograph: David Raleigh

Enough native honeybees in Ireland to help repopulate northern Europe, study finds

Ireland could become a leader in climate action, according to an energy expert. File photograph: Kamal Kishore/ Reuters

No fundamental barrier to State becoming leader in climate action, says energy expert

Smart farming involves  the use of new technologies for more environmentally-friendly practices. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

New technologies and more efficient work practices are changing how farmers operate

Harold Kingston farming in Courtmacsherry, Cork: Irish farmers are playing a leading role   in addressing the climate challenge. Photograph: Donal O’Leary

Researchers find global warming threat from farm animals 11% greater than feared

Climate science is complicated with many unknowns, especially in predicting how much the Earth will warm by over coming decades.  Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

99 citizens told that society’s engagement is critical If Ireland is to decarbonise by 2050

Flooding in Swords, Co Dublin, in October 2013: The frequency of extreme rainfall events in winter and autumn is  projected to increase by 30 per cent, according to Dr Saji Varghese of Met Éireann. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Met Éireann head of research warns Citizens’ Assembly of weather changes by mid-century

The Citizens’ Assembly is considering how the State can become a leader in tackling climate change over the  weekend.

Failure to meet global warming targets could cost State billions, Citizen’s Assembly told

Ms  Justice Mary Laffoy   said she expected there would be a thought provoking and robust discussion on how the State can become a leader in tackling climate change.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Our starting point must be that climate change is here and ... must be tackled’ - Laffoy

 Companies giving rise to persistent odour, noise or dust emissions problems are named and shamed by the EPA.

Five are in dairy sector and all will be subject to increased inspections and monitoring

Bord na Móna’s exit from peat, including making briquettes, had to be carefully planned, head of business transformation Joe Lane said. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

The company has been criticised for using a fuel that is expensive and ‘polluting the planet’

On the Probe trail in TCD during the 2016 staging of the event.

Analyse your digital footprint, visit the Long Room and eat a crowdsourced meal

 Smoke billows from steel slags  in Chongqing Municipality, China. Photograph:  China Photos/Getty Images

Environmental Protection Agency will oversee the research with An Taisce

 Denis Naughten: the Environmental Pillar says he has “yet to commit to enough new actions to reduce pollution”

Ireland’s leading environment groups to spell out concerns at conference in Croke Park

Many farmers,were considering whether it was worth sowing crops for 2018 such is the crisis, said the IFA. Photograph: iStock

Growers struggling to complete grain harvest due to poor weather conditions, IFA says

The new hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fuel cell vehicles may join electric cars on our roads, but costs are prohibitive for now

Coalition 2030 rally in Dublin marking the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

March held in Dublin to mark two years since signing of Sustainable Development Goals

The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Company wants to promote need for refuelling stations as none currently exist in State

The Government has announced an investment of €43 million in 26 research projects

University of Limerick research among 26 projects sharing €43 million investment

GPs specialising in dementia will provide the online service

The smart meter: coming to a home near you

Devices will provide ‘real-time’ electricity consumption information and end meter-reading house calls

White clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) underwater on riverbed, River Leith, Cumbria, England, UK. File photograph

Large number of dead engangered species reported as biosecurity measures introduced

At the opening of the  Trinity Centre for Excellence in Ageing and Intellectual Disability, sisters Kathleen Ely and Margaret Shanahan from Thurles. Photograph: Mark Stedman

IDS-Tilda underpins Ireland’s status as world leader in intellectual disability and aging research

To achieve  2030 targets, annual emission reduction efforts will need to increase by half in the next decade, a European Court of Auditors report has found. File photograph: Getty Images

Friends of the Earth: Irish energy objective means emissions must fall 5% a year until 2050

Findings may explain why people with obesity have impaired capacity to fight disease

Majella O’Donnell at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s  breast-cancer fundraising campaign “Cups Against Cancer” on Monday

Early detection development by Irish researchers enables different strategy to be put in place

Minister for Environment Denis Naughten: consumers “must have confidence” fees for disposal of waste tyres are standardised and used for intended purpose. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister to press for introduction of scheme next month despite industry objections

Jo Handelsman (right)  in the laboratory with a graduate student: ‘Soil is probably the most critical resource right now.’ Photograph: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jo Handelsman, Obama’s former scientific adviser, says the US is running out of soil

Nasa’s Cassini above Saturn’s northern hemisphere prior to making one of its last dives.  Photograph: Nasa/PA

The probe ended its 13-year mission by tumbling towards the ringed planet on Friday

Technology expert Jonathan McCrea (left) with environmental scientist and climate change expert Dr Tara Shine and Repak chief executive Seamus Clancy (right) at a special environmental panel discussion to mark Repak’s 20th anniversary. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

‘I’m an expert. I’m a well-informed consumer. But I’m confused’ at range of plastics

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