Leanamore Wind Farm in Co Kerry, SSE's newest onshore wind farm, which entered full commercial operation in February 2018. Wind and tidal projects will be key to Ireland meeting 2030 targets.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Denis Naughten is adamant the State will play its part in a green revolution

In the EPA’s latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement, five sites are listed for persistent failure to meet the necessary environmental standards, four of which are from the agri-food sector

EPA report shows sector has overtaken waste industry for non-compliance

A smart control panel for a domestic heater. Photograph: iStock

Moving Ireland’s two million homes away from oil to renewable forms of energy is an immense task

Galway Wind Park, Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, which was co-developed by SSE and Coillte in Cloosh Valley, Connemara.

The need for urgent action on the climate change crisis will dramatically change the type of energy we use and how we use it

Billy Costello of Green Generation, Nurney, Co Kildare. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

With an economy based largely on agriculture, Ireland is uniquely placed to to generate biomethane using farm waste

EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley in the company’s National Control Room in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

EirGrid is at the heart of an all-Ireland energy system, but it cannot rest on its laurels, its chief executive Mark Foley says

Eirgrid's national control centre room in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The nerve centre of the Irish energy system tracks every flicker in demand

Engineers climb a turbine inspection ladder on the Airtricity wind farm on the Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea. Photograph: David O'Brien

In spite of policy gaps, Wheeler strikes optimistic note on renewables, especially offshore

An aerial view of the Irish Cement facility at Platin, Co Meath. Photograph: Aerial Eye

Making cement ‘a different process to what people perceive’

Dr Seán Healy, director of Social Justice Ireland: “Much of what Ireland is doing is damaging people, the economy or the environment.” Photograph: David Sleator

Review widely rejected as lack of education and political urgency blamed for shortfall

Michael Quirke: “it’s very hard to convince ordinary people” to embrace renewable energy “when it took me 12 years to build a windfarm”. Photograph: Larry Cummins

Michael Quirk believes farmers are key to meeting Ireland’s climate change targets

The Government would produce a new international development policy and commit financial support for global climate action later this year, Minister for for  Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has told the UN. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister Denis Naughten accepted more needed to be done urgently if sustainable development goals to be met

Poolbeg incinerator: Covanta says there is no long-term plan to import waste. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Covanta’s quest to process more refuse has sparked concern among a variety of groups

Stags in the Phoenix Park during rutting season. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dublin amenity and another in Sydney the only two parks to get gold in global award

Chief Justice: warned against legislators producing ‘unclear or unduly complex legislation issues’

Sustained public pressure is required for any meaningful political action, conference told

Newborn babies do not respond optimally to most vaccines due to their immature immune system. Photograph: Nicole S Young/E+/Getty

Researchers identify ‘danger signals’ efficient at triggering immune response in infants.

Burning issue: an oil rig operating for Providence Resources in Barryroe, off Co Cork. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke/Providence Resources/PA Wire

Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will have to sell off its €318m investments in fossil fuels

Mount Lucas wind farm in Co Offaly. The new National Energy and Climate Plan is due to be submitted to the EU by the end of the year and implemented in 2019. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sixteen-member committee to report before end of January 2019

The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, passed in the Dáil on Thursday, now goes to the Seanad, where it is expected to go through quickly and become law by the end of the year, Deputy Thomas  Pringle said.

New bill will see State become first country in the world to divest from fossil fuel assets

Donegal is the poorest performing council for its inspection rate, according to ‘RTÉ Investigates’. Photograph: Dave Meehan/Irish Times/File photo

Donegal local authority reported 10 ‘insidious’ incidents over last three years

Wastewater treatment by aeration. In a new study six wastewater treatment plants in northern England were linked to a rise  in microplastics in the rivers – on average up to three times higher but in one instance by a factor of 69

EPA says the impact of microplastics on people’s health has not been fully assessed

It is possible ‘to keep the lights on with 100 per recent renewable energy’ while causing minimal disruption to lifestyles, a UK energy expert has said.

Oireachtas committee told Climate Emergency Measures Bill ‘laudable but flawed’

Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten: GMO cultivation-free status is “a key element of our international reputation as a green, sustainable food producer”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Denis Naughten recommends opting out of directive on GMOs

The rollout of cheaper renewable energy derived from wind and solar panels could be obstructed by Ireland’s use of gas, the OCI has predicted. File photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Study finds Ireland’s reliance on gas will obstruct rollout of cheaper renewable energy

3-D image of the hole in the ozone layer high above Antarctica (above).  Photograph: Nasa

Rise caused by illegal Chinese manufacturers of plastic insulating foam

Cut hedgerow near Shillelagh in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Environmental group says hedge-cutting in August will cause problems for nesting birds

The Irish Fertility Society, which represents clinics, consultants and scientists working in the sector, has expressed strong opposition to both pieces of legislation.

Act updates family law on the needs of children in ‘diverse family types’

 Gaelscoil na nDeise, Waterford, pupils, with   their SFI award, with  principal Marc de Grás, SFI’s Cathy Foley, Minister of State   John Halligan and Oisin Furlong. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Seeing so many primary schools take part in programme extremely encouraging, says SFI

Anonymous sperm and egg donation is expected to be banned in Ireland, once the Minister for Health commences enactment of Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Children and Family Relationships Act, which allows for parentage through donor-assisted human reproduction.  File image: PA

Patients will be able to ‘remotely’ carry out IVF with donor egg, says company

Litter is transitioning from primarily a visual concern to a health and environmental one, according to group. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

‘Marine litter signals the inevitable death of our seas unless rapid change effected’

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten: BNRG Renewables hopes he will set out the quantum of an annual auction for the years ahead.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Renewable energy firm starts work on 10 photovoltaic projects in state of Oregon

Ireland has little or no capacity to recycle soft plastic items.

‘We recycle 34 per cent of all plastic’ as the 50% target by 2025 is described as ‘ambitious’

Electric vehicle incentive “is integral to the series of Governmental support measures aimed at promoting a low-carbon transport future”, according to Minister for Transport Shane Ross. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Move will save drivers up to €500 a year, and €1,000 for good vehicles, Shane Ross says

The Larger Carder Bee, one of many Irish species under threat. Photograph: John Breen

A third of the 100 species of bees in Ireland are threatened with extinction

Absence linked to reduced sociability in people with autism spectrum disorders

Findings likely to lead to changes in the way such conditions are treated

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe agreed that meeting the climate challenge was not only in the national interest, but it was also “our national obligation”.

‘The Government does not underestimate the scale of the challenge,’ says Varadkar

By 2030 and 60 per cent of new car sales will be electric vehicles, ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty predicted. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Country needs to rethink use of energy, ESB chief tells Energy Ireland conference

Denis Naughton rejected the basis for arriving at the ranking and the conclusions reached by the NGO, Climate Action Network Europe. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Reaching climate targets is at the top of the policy agenda for Government, says Minister

Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten says there will be specific measures in Budget 2019 to help meet the Government’s climate change goals including on carbon tax. Photograph: Getty Images

The commitments, how we rate on efforts to curb this rolling disaster and the carbon tax

Researchers call for marital status to be included as risk factor in its own right

The CAN report highlighted the critical need for Ireland to urgently implement the recent Citizens’ Assembly proposals. Photograph: Getty Images

Reaction to CAN report: Political leadership ‘urgently needed’ to turn record around

The report says Ireland has an “impressive potential” of integrating high levels of renewables, especially wind power. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Warning of annual non-compliance costs of about €500 million unless measures taken

New EU deal on renewable energy should see more electric vehicles being used.

Target of 32% for renewable energy sought

  Ruairí Ó Cuív, grandson of Éamon de Valera with Prof Terence Rudolph, grandson of Erwin Schrödinger at an event to remember Prof Rudolph’s  grandfather,  Nobel prizewinner Erwin Schrödinger, at the Little Museum of Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Francis Crick’s letter summed up critical role played by Nobel prizewinner Erwin Schrödinger

 Ice floats near the coast of Antarctica. Photograph: Nasa

Continent lost trillions of tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, latest research says

Icebergs in the northern Weddell Sea off Antarctica:  ice loss is speeding up and adding even more to rising sea levels. Photograph: John Sonntag/Nasa via The New York Times

Next decade critical to Antarctica’s fate and consequences for Earth, scientists warn

Secretaries general would have to account for department’s delivery on climate change

Filtering the water: The main issues affecting Irish water supplies, the EPA annual report  concluded, are high levels of disinfection products in supplies; excessive levels of pesticide  in some supplies and large numbers of lead pipe connections in properties. File photograph: Getty Images

Agency expects water to be in line with EU standards by 2020, ‘16 years after deadline’

Feeding cows unsaturated fats is one climate-friendly action proposed for Irish farmers. File photograph: Getty Images

Teagasc gives outline of how best to deal with biggest greenhouse gas source in Ireland

Agriculture accounts for a third of Irish emissions. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Possible cost of €600m per annum after 2020 if there is no change in policy

An illustration of the ‘Therepi’ device on heart tissue. Photograph: Peter Allen/Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

NUIG researchers develop new device that allows better targeting of cardiac treatments

Trinity College botanist Prof John Parnell with the stump of the Oregon Maple Tree which died last week in the college. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Second Trinity maple felled this week because of disease, but air pollution not a factor

 Coastwatch members gather at the Rosie Hackett Bridge, Dublin for  World Oceans Day. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

EU crackdown on plastic pollution needs to focus more on prevention of use, say Coastwatch Ireland

Known as “spice” or “k2”, synthetic cannabis has been consumed in growing quantities since it was introduced in Ireland through head shops over 10 years ago. Photograph: iStock

Warning follows collapse of 25-year-old in US who had no family history of stroke or heart disease

 Emer Duffy, postdoctoral researcher based at DCU, ShuaiShuai Hu, postgraduate scholar based at DIT,  and David Burns, PhD candidate based at UCC. Photograph:  Mark Stedman

They will be among 600 other scientists from 84 different countries

Banners are unveiled on the outside of Grenfell Tower in west London on Wednesday. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Report was commissioned by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy after London fire

The Sea Stallion from Glendalough, a reconstructed Viking ship. File photograph: Eric Luke

Ancient Iceland settlers had even split of Norse and Gaelic ancestry

The bioengineers found high-impact tackles to the upper trunk (with no head contact) can cause ball carrier head motion similar to that reported for concussion injuries. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

3D motion analysis lab trials with elite players confirm tackling lower trunk is safer

Key questions over our post-Brexit relationship with the UK regarding education and research remain unanswered. Photograph: iStock

Future relationship with UK will have far-reaching consequences for thousands of students

Melting glaciers are a clear sign of climat change and global warming

Nobody says global warming is ‘all bullshit’ any more. Instead they say it’s too costly

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  said economic expansion and fossil fuel consumption were causing large increases in greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.

EPA figures show State likely to miss EU goal to cut down on greenhouse gases released

The EPA has highlighted the need for a decisive move away from fossil fuels. Photograph: iStock

Strong economic growth and increasing fossil fuel consumption cited for increase

New members admitted to the Royal Irish Academy, pictured outside the academy on Dawson Street, Dublin. Photograph: John Ohle

Royal Irish Academy admits 28 new members

Minister for Health Simon Harris  said that provision for conscientious objectors would be provided for in the final legislation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

GP bodies and medical groups will be involved in consultation process, says Minister

Those arriving on Saturday nights with alcohol-related presentations were most likely to be male, to arrive by ambulance and to leave against medical advice, the research found.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

New research shows substantial burden of alcohol on hospitals and emergency services

Air pollution is responsible for over 1,650 premature deaths in Ireland every year.  File photograph: Getty Images

Areas reaching hazardous levels comparable with those found in London, research shows

The “first dose uptake” of the HPV vaccine increased to an estimated 61.7 per cent in 2017-2018 from 55.8 per cent in 2016-2017. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Negative trend linked to parental concerns reversed, unlike in Japan and Denmark

Dr Maria McNamara of UCC: “What’s remarkable is that the fossil dandruff is almost identical to that in modern birds.” Photograph: John Sheehan

Microraptor, Beipiaosaurus and Sinornithosaurus ‘clearly shed their skin in flakes’

The European Commission says Ireland has made limited progress in reducing carbon emissions in agriculture, road transport and the residential sector. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Experts say Ireland in line for fines of up to €600m for missing 2020 carbon cuts target

European Commission report concludes “existing climate change mitigation efforts will not enable Ireland to achieve its Europe 2020 climate goals domestically”. Photograph: PA

European Commission report warns of limited progress in decarbonising the economy

Prof Shane Higgins has a broad range of clinical and management experience gained within Ireland, Scotland and Australia.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist will take up post next January

The British Medical Journal argues that a faltering post-Brexit economy is likely to make this worse. Photograph: Reuters

Most vulnerable, including poor reliant on food banks at risk – British Medical Journal

 Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) environmental science student Katie Carbonara, award winner.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Winner of 2018 Mary Mulvihill Award tackles difficult question with a punchy, passionate paper

Denis Naughten: Some committee members had put politics before dealing with the problem of plastics. Photograph: Collins

Blog posting comes after committee voted down Minister’s amendment on compulsory ‘deposit and return’ of drinks containers

President of the RDS Bernie Brennan pictured launching the inaugural Talamh Awards with members of the judging panel Dorín Graham and John Dardis.  Photograph: Andres Poveda

Programme to showcase best practice across agriculture

Embarking on a little scientific experiment at an event in Synge Street CBS to mark the launch of the 2019 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition were second year students Yaduvir Harhangi and Martin Goz. Photograph: Colm Mahady /Fennell Photography

BT survey reveals Stem employees find their work inspiring, pioneering and better paid

An Oireachtas committee is presssing ahead with plans to introduce a deposit scheme for drinks containers, despite reservations by Minister for Environment Denis Naughten. Photograph: Reuters

Committee members rebuff attempt by Denis Naughten to water down waste reduction bill

Senator Grave O’Sullivan said never in the history of humanity has the health of the oceans been more threatened.  File photograph: Getty Images

Senator Grace O’Sullivan says vulnerable areas should be first to be protected

A seabin floating in the sea and taking in loose plastic.

Dún Laoghaire environmental initiative crowd-funded by 11-year-old girl

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, the most commonly used herbicide in the world. Photograph: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Population subjected to ‘low exposure’ but within EU safety limits, NUIG study finds

A blue flag standard is an international award which recognises outstanding compliance with bathing water quality and sewage treatment regulations. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Has your local beach made the list? 83 Irish beaches and seven marinas achieve the accolade

Workers bees and a queen bee, yellow spot on back. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Bee populations in Ireland and globally have declined significantly, making them endangered

Cancer Trials Ireland rolls out Just Ask Your Doctor! campaign,  calling on those with cancer to ask their doctor if there is a relevant cancer trial that they can join to increase their treatment options. From left,  Evelyn O’Rourke, member of the board of Cancer Trials Ireland, Prof Bryan Hennessy, clinical lead, Cancer Trials Ireland, Ashley Bazin, team leader, oncology/haematology, Tallaght Hospital, Dr Linda Coate, vice clinical lead, Cancer Trials Ireland & consultant medical oncologist, University Hospital Limerick with patient Advocates Patrick Kivlehan, Johnstown, Kildare and Emma Corcoran,  Lusk, north County Dublin.  Photograph:  Andres Poveda

Experts say tisotumab vedotin potentially promising against cervical cancer

At the launch of  Cancer Trials Ireland’s  Just Ask Your Doctor! campaign: patient advocate Eddie Mac Eoin from Bandon, Cork, with his two grandchildren, James Noonan  and Laoise McAdam. Photograph:  Andres Poveda

Prof Bryan Hennessy says decline in Government funding makes it difficult for clinical trials

Wind and solar power will be at the heart of an imminent transformation of the Irish energy system where every consumer and community will have an opportunity to benefit, a conference has heard. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Wind farmers’ group meeting hears draconian planning system delaying projects

Photograph: Getty Images

An estimated 10,000 people in Ireland are resistant to current treatments for epilepsy

Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Failures to achieve targets in period up to 2020 are ‘ticking exchequer timebomb’

With five locations in Dublin failing to meet minimum standards –  Portrane, Rush South, Loughshinny, Merrion Strand and Sandymount Strand (above) – Dublin’s bathing waters were worse than in 2016. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Green Party’s David Healy says raw sewage being discharged into Capital’s bathing areas

Sandymount Strand joined the EPA’s “poor” list after being classified of “sufficient” quality in 2015 and 2016. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Seven coastal bathing waters ‘vulnerable to pollution’ fail to meet minimum standard

In south Dublin, Merrion and Sandymount Strands failed failed to meet EU water quality standards due to polluted surface waters, drainage “misconnections” and bird fouling. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Beaches fail to meet EU standards due to surface pollution and sewage discharges

The compostable coffee cup and lid that will be introduced in all SuperValu and Centra stores from next September - it will be suitable for disposal in brown waste bins.

SuperValu and Centra to introduce compostable cups, lids suitable for brown bins

A bumblebee feeds on nectar: To address declines in pollinating insects, an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was launched in 2015.  Photograph: Jane Powers

Of 98 Irish wild bee species, one-third are threatened with extinction, monitors find

Minister for Business  Heather Humphreys announced a scheme to address labour shortages in horticulture, meat processing and dairying. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Scheme aims to address labour shortages in horticulture, meat processing and dairying

Collaborative research: Niall FitzGerald believes that building on relationships with the UK will enhance Ireland’s international competitiveness. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty

State could be globally significant research centre after Brexit, Niall FitzGerald believes

Minister of State for Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan:  “In the context of the UK withdrawing from the EU, Ireland needs to continue to cultivate ties with world-leading educational institutes in the UK.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Despite disruption, bilateral research to continue with extra funding from Dublin

 Oxford University’s vice-chancellor Prof Louise Richardson:  said the Government needs to  restore third level in the State’s universities if Ireland is to benefit from the opportunities after Brexit. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Lack of education funding sees Irish universities fall in global rankings, conference told

Marijuana plants stand in a US grow facility. Restricted use still applies in Ireland Photograph: /Bloomberg

Use of these forms of cannabis is very restricted despite moves to permit limited use

Research by the Cochrane Review scientific network confirms that the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) is very effective in reducing cases of cervical cancer. Photograph: David Cheskin/PA

‘No evidence’ to support doubters of cervical cancer preventer

An artist rendition of ‘hot Saturn’ WASP-96b.  Image: Engine House VFX

DCU astronomer and team seek greater understanding of planets beyond solar system

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