At the launch of the 3 Counties Energy Agency on the Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross, Co Wexford, were  Marie Donnelly, former director for renewables, research and innovation, energy efficiency with the European Commission, Paddy Phelan, 3CEA manager, and Cllr Denis Foley, chairman  of the 3CEA board. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow come together to support effort on climate change

The lamb carcass was slaughtered at a processing plant where a moderately elevated level of dioxin was subsequently found in a “composite sample” of 10 combined livers. Photograph: iStock

Food Safety Authority says contaminated lamb does not pose a public health risk

Ellie Concannon, Aoibhe Briscoe and Kate Owens from Coláiste Iognaid, Galway with their project on microbeads and microplastics in water at the 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The making (and marketing) of a typical Young Scientist project

A sunny day in Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green.  Hot days in Ireland are projected to  get warmer by up to 2.6 degrees by 2050. Photograph: Frank Miller

National strategy for adapting to climate change published

Simon Meehan and his science teacher, Karina Lyne. Much of the criticism  for the winner came from people passing judgment on a piece of sound science that had hallmarks of brilliance, even though they had not read it

Much of the social media criticism of this year’s winner was laced with uninformed commentary

Astrid Gundersen  (3), from Swords, at the Friends of the Earth protest outside the Dáil on Wednesday as the joint Oireachtas environment committee began hearings on the Waste Reduction Bill. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister concerned ban on single-use plastic may run counter to EU directive

 Plastics and other detritus line the shore of the Thames Estuary. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Commission says all plastic packaging will be recyclable by end of decade

Simon Meehan with  his science teacher Karina Lyne after he was awarded top prize at the 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

Simon Meehan (15) won for landmark study on plants growing in his Co Cork back garden

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Climate minister says higher taxes and incentives needed to decarbonise Irish society

Jack Kennedy from Coláiste Mhuire, Tipperary with exhibit ‘Analysing the effect of 1st year students positivity using ‘three good things’.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Affects of FOMO among projects in social- behavioural category which were favourite among visitors

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow: ‘The trouble is Trump has captured the whole concept of fake news and is adding to it’. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

C4 presenter says world is ‘living in a dicey moment’ with shift of advertising to Facebook

Simon Meehan, from Coláiste Choilm, Co Cork, who has won the top prize at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Simon Meehan was one of the 1,100 students involved in 550 projects who made last stage

 Minister For Education & Skills Richard Bruton  with Conor Walsh from Ardscoil Rís, Dublin, with his exhibit ‘The influence of music on cycling speed (and wheel rotations)’ at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS, Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Winner of young scientist of the year title to be announced on Friday evening

Ellie O’Leary, Georgina Pettit, Ryan Nurke, Eoin Kehoe, Daniel Murphy and Sophie Burke Corish from Scoil Mhuire, Our Lady’s Island, Co Wexford, with their project on the salt level in their brackish lake at the RDS Primary Science fair. Photograph: Alan Betson

Project inspired by farmer grandfather ‘who keeps complaining they get it wrong’

Darragh Flynn Kenny and Patrick McMahon from Catherine McAuley NS, Baggot Street Lower, with their school project What Is Going on with Light, Shadow and Colour? Photograph: Alan Betson

The fair at the RDS investigates questions such as ‘Why do onions make us cry?’

Darragh Fleming, Colm Looney and  Ethan O’Neill from Kerry with their project.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Young Kerry scientists believe official figures of deer accidents hugely underestimated

Dr Norah Patten: her ultimate dream is to visit the International Space Station.   Photograph: Sean Curtin

Dr Norah Patten, from Ballina, is set on a course to becoming Ireland’s first astronaut

 Sam Hendrick (left) and Elle MacHale from Sutton park school with exhibit ‘Investigating the forces transmitted when heading a football’ during the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS ,Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Former Irish international forward Kevin Doyle offers guidance in study

President Michael D Higgins opens the BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition,  RDS, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

President urges young scientists to embrace ethics and economics

Prof Mark Ferguson, director general  Science Foundation Ireland. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ireland at risk of failing to compete globally as other countries up Stem investment

Clodagh Clarke and Abbie Cassidy, students from Ringsend College in Dublin,  at the BT Young Scientist of the Year exhibition at the RDS on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Exhibition open to public from Thursday to Saturday when over 50,000 visitors expected

Former president Mary Robinson: she said in recent months the foundation’s board  had been considering its  future direction

Staff, donors and campaign partners informed of changes to future operation of foundation

Margot Moore, a first-year student from Loreto Foxrock, at the launch of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke

At the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, the quality continues to improve

The provisional EU deal agreed late last month includes “flexibilities” on targets for reducing carbon emissions up to 2030. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Ireland rewarded for carbon emissions growing in line with economy, An Taisce says

In the reviewed studies rodents given paracetamol during pregnancy, at doses equivalent to those that a pregnant woman may take for pain relief, produced female offspring with fewer eggs. Photograph: Getty Images

Animal research indicates use of medication may impact female offspring’s number of eggs

China has banned the importation of recyclable material including most categories of plastic from January 1st. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Concern that ban could lead to more incineration and dumping

Groundsman for West Untied FC Keith Devlin, inspects their waterlogged pitch after Storm Eleanor wreaked havoc in the area. Photograph: Ray Ryan

Evidence shows strong links between extreme events and human-caused warming

Ireland generated 27 per cent of its power needs from wind for the whole of last year.

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day it delivered 20 per cent of electricity needs

Last year the Minister for the Environment gave €1.3 million to local authorities and national waste agencies to fund a crackdown on illegal dumping

Minister says surveillance campaign using drone imagery will run again this year

Up to €20,000 is available to Irish businesses through Ervia towards the purchase of a new natural gas vehicle. Photograph: Fennell

Project to be overseen by Gas Networks Ireland and NUI Galway

The latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter  shows increased litter levels in Dublin city centre and in disadvantaged areas of Galway, Limerick and Cork. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Irish cities and towns are getting cleaner but some areas are seeing a spike in littering

Irish Water says the  covered Stillorgan reservoir is due to be operational by 2020, and  will have capacity to support growth to 2031.

An Bord Pleanála approves new covered facility amid water quality concerns

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten published Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan earlier this year, which aims to hold agricultural emissions at a steady level and to make more demanding cuts in the other sectors.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ireland to be allowed take forestry and soils into account for greenhouse gas obligations

Six-month studies showed twice-weekly workouts may help people with mild cognitive impairment. Photograph: Getty

‘What’s good for your heart can be good for your brain ,’ Alzheimer’s expert says

Up to 97% of Irish plastic, including plastic bottles, went to China because of a lack of processing capacity at home.

China took 95% of our plastic waste in 2016, but a ban will mean that’s no longer possible

Greenpeace International recently revealed correspondence estimating 280,000 tons a year of UK plastic packaging would be affected by the ban. Photograph: Getty Images

Confusion and worry about move by the world’s biggest processor of recyclable materials

New management plan for bogs strikes  appropriate balance between protection  and the needs of turf cutters, the Minister for Culture has said. Photograph: Getty Images

Management plan for raised bogs published

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, who yesterday ratified the figures of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Threshold set at multiplier of 1.7, applied to average rate of demand as found in analysis

Margot Moore (left) and Aimee O’Neill, first-year students at Loreto Foxrock, join the Ultimate Science Show  at the launch of the 2017 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, in 54th year, is largest such event in Europe

Summer thunderstorms are projected to increase in frequency and intensity, often triggering flash floods. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Hazard of summer thunderstorms also registers in extensive US climate-change study

The black-legged Kittiwake in classical pose, perched on a coastal cliff face.

Gull named for its distinctive ‘kitt-i-wake’ call placed on Red List of threatened bird species

The State’s energy import dependency in 2016 was 69 per cent, down from 88 per cent on 2015.

State decoupling economic growth from energy use too slowly, green energy agency says

The conference heard that the lessons of Storm Ophelia needed to be absorbed in order to ensure vital infrastructure is more resilient. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ireland may have to endure temperature rise of over four degrees, conference told

The Environmental Protection Agency said local authorities needed to improve segregation of household food waste to avoid avoid odour nuisance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA says local authorities need to improve segregation of household food waste

Ireland produced its largest amount of renewable electricity ever last year, on the back of the introduction of an additional 400 megawatts of power from wind turbines. Photograph: PA

Report shows spending on fossil fuels fell by €1.2bn as Ireland’s energy use changes

Discarded tyres constituted a significant litter nuisance. Photograph: Getty Images

Analysis exposes surge in nitrate seepage due to farming, tyre nuisance and plastic hazards

No plan B: the One Planet Summit is being held two years to the day since the landmark Paris accord on climate change was agreed. Photograph: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty

Tax could raise up to €5bn a year to fund fight against climate change

Lead author Edmund Gilbert of the RCSI says the research shows Ireland acts as a sink of Celtic ancestry, with its genetically closest continental European population lying in the Breton region in northwestern France. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Volunteers sought to take part in Irish DNA Atlas project

  Luas tram on a test run on Dawson Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Transport project should help lessen carbon footprint through taking cars off roads

Flooding in Salthill, Galway, during Storm Ophelia in October 2017. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Climate study finds average annual rainfall has risen, and flash flood patterns have changed

Businesses that generate commercially usable heat from renewable energy sources will be eligible to receive ongoing payments under new scheme. Photograph: Eric Luke

Scheme designed to reduce reliance on fossil fuel heating systems without repeating mistakes of ‘cash for ash’ in Northern Ireland

‘The Irish Times’ has supported citizen science projects in recent years, including a successful national survey in 2015 to learn more about the genetics of cats. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish Times working with citizen science researchers in coming months

The side-bet club had become an alliance of leading companies already investing in hydrogen value chain – 18 multinationals including Toyota, Alstom, BMW and Royal Dutch Shell. File photograph: Getty Images

A decarbonised world is a must if climate change is to be stopped and rolled back

Denis Naughten: he has repeatedly highlighted that clean air  is a priority due to the health effects of traditional house coal

Coal distributors have 12 months to sell off existing stocks before total ban in 2019

The Climate Change Advisory Council says Ireland has the third highest emissions per capita for residential energy use in the EU

Climate council warns economic growth and rising emissions ‘not yet decoupled’

New measures should include a substantial increase in the carbon tax, and a phasing out of coal and peat for both residential heating and power generation. Photograph: Getty

Ireland has the third highest emissions per capita for residential energy use in the EU

There’s a need to be able to answer questions raised about the expansion of the dairy and beef sectors, and to be “persuasively sustainable”, according to Aidan O’Driscoll. Photograph: iStock

Expansion and meeting climate change obligations is doable according to Aidan O’Driscoll

European Commissioner for  Agriculture Phil Hogan: “Ireland needs to wake up, and fast, to the reality that we are part of an EU that has assumed the role of global leader in the climate challenge.”  Photograph: EPA/Olivier Hoslet

Phil Hogan says failure to meet environmental targets can be counted in hard currency

Sea ice in Victoria Strait, Nunavut, Canadian Arctic: the impact of current climate change on the planet may be larger than expected. Photograph: Cory Glencross/iStock/Getty

NUI Galway-led study suggests past indicates seriousness of climate change

A large boulder deposited at Annagh Head in Co Mayo.

Researchers compared Irish sites with location in New Zealand ravaged by a tsunami millions of years ago

Prof William Campbell at Trinity College Dublin this week, pictured with his original dissection kit from his time as an undergraduate student at the university. Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

William C Campbell’s retirement has been ‘absolutely ruined’ since he won the prize aged 85

Dublin’s new waste incinerator in Poolbeg is operating at full capacity, and processing approximately 1,800 tonnes of solid waste per day.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

HSA launched criminal investigation after a lime leak in June resulted in 11 workers being hospitalised

The conference was attended by renewable energy producers from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark

Ambassadors host ‘Nordic Green’ conference in Dublin on the future of renewable energy

 A Tesla electric car parks at a charging station. A new grant to support installation of home charger points for buyers of new and second-hand electric vehicles will be rolled out next year.  Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA/

Government to introduce series of measures in effort to increase uptake of technology

Providing roof-top solar panels in schools would enable communities to see tangible benefits and the resulting long-term energy savings should go directly to the schools, a conference in Dublin heard. File photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Conference hears State’s ‘green branding’ is ‘evaporating before our eyes’ due to emissions

Data published by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday showed that agriculture greenhouse gas emissions rose by 2.7 per cent in 2016. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Environment chairman says Green Party signed up to bad climate agreement in government

Photograph: Getty

Committee to hear fears of ‘environmental dumping’ if all-island rules end after Brexit

Expert warns of fines of up to €455m in 2020 as EU targets likely to be missed

“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

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