ESB Networks managing director said the upgrade to modern meters was an important enabler of Ireland’s climate action plan. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Smart meters will help customers make better choices about their consumption

RTÉ has been criticised repeatedly for its coverage of climate change, notably on flagship programmes. Photograph:  Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Oireachtas committee criticises broadcaster for low level of environmental coverage

Dr Sinead McParland of Teagasc is to develop tools to help identify the most efficient cows in the national herd. Photograph: Getty Images

Developing tools to identify most efficient cows among proposed projects

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education, unveils a portrait of  Sheila Tinney at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), watched by the late Dr Tinney’s children, Ethna, Hugh and Deirdre Tinney.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Dr Sheila Tinney was first-ever Irish woman to earn a PhD in mathematical science

The average amount of meat consumed per person per year globally has nearly doubled in the past 50 years. File photograph: H Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty

Taoiseach’s comments on eating less meat draw ire from farming industry but he has science on his side

The Citizens’ Assembly ‘was crystal clear that people want to see the Government take the lead on climate action’

Organisation says measure will not work if people feel climate-action responsibility is being pushed onto individuals

Adam Kelly from Skerries Community College is announced winner of the 2019 BT Young Scientist of the Year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Irish astrophysicist Bell Burnell says she was overwhelmed with imposter syndrome when she went to Cambridge University

Marjan Minnesma, director of environmental group Urgenda, arrives at  court in The Hague in May 2018 for the group’s case against the Dutch government. ,Photograph: Jerry Lampen/AFP/Getty Images

Citizens are increasingly taking the legal route to pressurise leaders into climate action

Adam Kelly from Skerries Community College is announced winner of the 2019 BT Young Scientist of the Year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Adam Kelly used algorithms to 'analyse, optimise and simulate quantum circuits'

Cannabinoid medicines are increasingly being approved for the treatment of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, arthritis and cancer

Ensuring better intestine absorption key to improvement, according to exhibition

BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year Exhibition: drew more than 15,000 people to the RDS on Thursday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

BTYSTE: Fifth-year student tests metals for months; first-years make bioplastic from milk

Tianyiwa Xie, a student from Alexander College, Dublin, whose project was ‘Intersection of Multidimensional Planes in Projective Geometry. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Other highlights include an experiment that suggests Mozart does not boost your brain

Steve Collins says the BTYSTE  was “the start of my journey”. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

It all started at the young scientist exhibition, says Havok computer game firm founder

More than 450 students, out of 1,131 people exhibiting at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, participated in the Gengage survey. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Moon tourism and automated farming are the next big things, according to survey

Sophie Kelly, Rachelle Biayi and Karl Fitzpatrick, from Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin at BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Students show high awareness of climate change issues at young scientist exhibition

Prof Emmeline Hill of  Irish equine science company Plusvital in UCD. Photograph: Peter Houlihan/Fennell Photography

Data is valuable to breeders, but may lead to some breeds facing extinction, warns scientist

Rian Byrne, a pupil at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, Co Wicklow, with elements of his project looking at how effectiveness of honey as a health food can be measured. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Students’ eco-friendly biofuel and fire protection among entries in science fair at RDS

 President  Michael D Higgins  officially opens the 2019  BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Michael D Higgins also praises Irish young people as he officially opens this year’s event

From left to right: Sophie Kelly (16), Rachelle Biayi (16) and  Karl Fitzpatrick (15), from Pobalscoil Neasain in Baldoyle, Dublin at the launch of the 55th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2019  at the RDS Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Over 500 projects on topics including gender diversity, pollution and climate change on show

Claire Hanrahan, senior plan and build manager for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition:  ‘I love it. It’s the highlight of our working calendar’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Hundreds, including teachers, BT staff, past winners and students, play their vital parts

Leo Varadkar visiting Irish troops in Mali. The Taoiseach said the carbon tax “will never be about taking money from people”. Photograph: Defence Forces Press Office

Taoiseach considering rebates as ex-president criticises climate response

The Black Mamba, the largest venomous snake in Africa. The researchers found strong evidence that venoms have evolved to be more potent toward animals that are more closely related to their diet

Researchers at NUIG and TCD reveal why some snakes are deadlier than others

Gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protesters set fire to garbage bins and other items in Bordeaux. Photograph: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images

Government edging towards model that would see everyone get a cheque in the post

Spawning salmon. Photograph: Getty

Climate change: If temperatures keep rising, fish species including salmon will be at risk

A number of species are ‘critically endangered’ and face a real risk of disappearing entirely without urgent action, including the curlew. Photograph: Mark L Stanley via Getty Images

One-third of groups examined ‘are threatened or near-threatened with dying out’

 The  legislation, proposed by Deputy Bríd Smith, would make Ireland the fifth country globally to ban fossil fuel exploration. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Deputy Bríd Smith makes complaint to Ceann Comhairle

Delegates at the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, last week.  Photograph: Marek Zimny/EPA

Prof Ray Bates says recent report ignored ‘important evidence’ reducing threat level

The EU has agreed to ban some single-use plastics in an effort to cut marine pollution. File photograph: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Campaigners welcome measures by bloc but say they fall short of tackling pollution crisis

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said he was working with colleagues across government to develop climate-action initiatives. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Climate ambitions ‘will need to be stepped up’, Minister says

 The UN summit in Katowice, Poland, signed off on a climate action  rulebook that will come into force in 2020. Photograph: Karolina Jonderko/The New York Times

UN summit in Poland signs off on implementation plan for Paris Agreement

Staff workers take  stands apart before the end of the final session of the COP24 summit on climate change in Katowice, Poland, on December 15th. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski

Absence of France, Germany and UK from COP24 hindered carbon emission goal

A delicate balance was struck at the summit between concerns of the smallest, poorest and most vulnerable countries and  the developed nations most responsible for global warming. Photograph: EPA/Shahzaib Akber

Countries must commit to greater levels of climate action from carbon trading to finance

A participant jumps for a picture during the final session of the COP24 summit on climate change in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

The good news and the bad news from the latest round of talks to save planet Earth

Michal Kurtyka (second from right), the Polish official who chaired the COP24 summit,  announcing the agreement in Katowice, Poland with the  heads of  delegations. Photograph:AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Mixed response to agreement in Poland on tracking of global climate policies

COP24 president Michal Kurtyka during the final session of the UN climate change conference in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Decision on international co-operation on carbon trading postponed after impasse

United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrives for a meeting with NGOs before the final session of the COP24 summit in Katowice on Friday. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Outline decision contains plans for common rule book for all countries

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN climate secretary Patricia Espinosa at  COP24. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Rueters

US continues ‘to hang around like a bad smell’ at climate talks, says Christian Aid spokesman

Local school children join Greta Thunberg’s initiative on climate strike during the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, on Friday. Photograph: Reuters

Stop Climate Chaos calls for implementation of Citizens Assembly recommendations

Participants take part in plenary session during COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland on December 13, 2018. Photograph: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

China accuses some of richest nations of backsliding on pollution clean-up promises

Climate talks also hears complaints over ESB contract to run coal-fired plant in Philippines

“The criticism of prime minister Leo Varadkar falls short.” Photograph: John Thys/Pool/EPA

Index compilers strongly reject Leo Varadkar’s criticisms of last-place rating

Steam rising from the cooling towers of a coal-fired thermal power plant in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photograph: Fehim Demir/EPA

Ireland not included among the 27 members of ‘High Ambition Coalition’

Former US vice president Al Gore criticised  the three big oil and gas producing countries including the US as they were ‘at least temporality unwilling to contribute to the progress we need in policy’.  Photograph: Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski/via Reuters

Failure would send a ‘disastrous message... It would be suicidal,’ says UN chief

Ireland is a member of the international Power Past Coal alliance, which pledges to stop burning coal for electricity. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Campaigners urge Government to cancel contract to run Phillippines power station

While we already have an efficient and productive agricultural system, there is no room for complacency, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said at COP24 on Wednesday. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Finger pointing isn’t really beneficial to anybody’, says Minister for Agriculture

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said the unique challenge was “how to engage people” over a sustained period in responding to climate change. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Policies to underpin plan detailing targets across government, Minister says

An environmental activist protests at the venue of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland. Photograph:  Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski via Reuters

Richard Bruton says is fully committed to implementation of the Paris Agreement

New  report shows  average world temperatures  on course to far exceed  goal set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA

US negotiators said to be deeply engaged in talks on the future of the Paris deal

Greenpeace activists illuminate the arena complex during the COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: Andrzej Grygiel/EPA

We need to talk about those who drive big cars, have two homes and fly business class

Protesters disrupt a panel discussion on fossil fuels that Wells Griffith, President Donald Trump’s international energy and climate adviser, was hosting in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: Karolina Jonderko/The New York Times

US administration’s ‘fossil fuels can be part of the solution’ stance contradicted in Poland

Heatwaves like the record-breaking 2017 event in central and eastern China were once rare. They are now one-in-five-year events due to climate change. Photograph: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Researchers warn ‘our civilisation is increasingly out of sync with changing climate’

Yul Choi, a South Korean activist with the Korea Green Foundation, protests outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland, on December 10th. Photograph: Karolina Jonderko/The New York Times

Politicians and NGOs demand action as State finishes last in European rankings

Protesters hold placards during a march for the climate on sidelines of the COP24 summit on December 8th in Katowice, Poland. Photograph:  Janek Skarzynski /Getty Images

State’s performance also among worst in the world in a major international assessment

Banks co-funding these projects are worried that if they go ahead and build these wind farms and the March deadline is missed, then they do not qualify for REFIT scheme. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Projects need to be up and running by March 2020 to qualify for renewable energy schemes

For the 11th year running, there are more girls (56 per cent) than boys competing in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph:  Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Number of female students in chemical, physical and mathematical category up 62%

Protesters at a march outside the COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Standoff at COP24 in Poland as US, Russia and Saudi Arabia refuse to welcome report

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment,  Richard Bruton was not in his department during a two-hour sit in during a climate action protest. File photograph: Tom Honan

Occupation coincides with the COP24 global climate talks in Katowice, Poland

Environmental activists hold letters “Save the climate, save the people” in front of a  church in Imielin near Katowice, Poland, during the COP24 climate  conference. Photograph:  Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski

Stand-off between the US and China threatens to slow global action on climate change

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton has highlighted shortcomings energy savings in health, education and commercial state bodies. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Public sector bodies saved 667,000 tonnes of ‘avoided CO2 emissions’ in 2017

Participants and guests at  the COP24 climate summit  in Katowice, Poland. Photograph: EPA/Andrzej Grygiel

Some 50% more food will be needed by 2050, ‘but greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will have to fall by two-thirds at the s(...)

General waste is rising rapidly, at 580kg per head per year. Photograph: Alan Betson

Black bins in commercial businesses contain more than a third food waste, study finds

Maire Breathnach from Mayo makes a point to Minister for Transport Shane Ross at a public meeting held by environmental group Stop Climate Chaos  in Dublin on Wednesday.  Photograph: Dave Meehan for The Irish Times

No lack of passion as 91 TDs meet constituents in Dublin to discuss climate concerns

Participants and guests at the UN climate summit  in Katowice, Poland.  Photograph: EPA/Andrzej Grygiel

Achieving big enough emissions reductions is now required in every sector, especially in transport and agriculture, says Bruton

“Any world leaders who thought they could hit the snooze button have been given a final wake-up call.” Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

Emissions have risen for a second year after three years of little-to-no growth

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton welcomed the overall decrease, but highlighted Ireland was “far off course to achieve the emissions targets that we have committed to”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

EPA warns Ireland set to miss emission reduction targets as agriculture rises by 2.9 per cent

Willie Noone of SIPTU said the workers saw what was coming as a consequence of climate change but the problem was that ‘this has been fast-tracked’. File photograph: Pat Sammon

Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action told voluntary redundancy ‘inadequate’

A file image of Lough Hyne in Skibbereen, Co Cork which a residents’ group is concerned could be impacted by plans to build a plastics factory in the area

Residents argue they were not adequately informed of health, environmental impact

Indigenous leader and member of the Climate Action Leadership Network Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim attends the COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland, on December 4th, 2018. Some 30,000 delegates are expected. Photograph: Hanna Bardo

Students, banks, Sturgeon and Robinson call for shift to low-carbon economy

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed  with Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan and Evelyn Cusack, head of forecasting at Met Éireann at the announcement of a €700,000 investment  in the marine data buoy network. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Marine data buoy network is used to help predict extreme weather events

Moneypoint power station in Carrowdotia South, Co Clare Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

All three coal-fired units offline since engineering issues surfaced in September

 British naturalist Sir David Attenborough at the COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland: “The world’s people have spoken, their message is clear, time is running out, they want you, the decision-makers, to act now.” Photograph: Andrzej Grygiel/EPA

World leaders at COP24 told ‘the continuation of our civilisations is in your hands’

US federal regulatory rollbacks have increased the attractiveness of investing in the dirtiest fossil fuel projects globally, while the US withdrawal from the agreement “has created moral and political cover for others to follow suit”

The EU is determined to ramp up ambition and to be seen as the global leader in climate change

Heavy traffic in Dublin. The Republic’s climate governance arrangements were not robust enough compared with other countries, Dr Diarmuid Torney said. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Policy expert urges stronger oversight of government efforts to tackle emissions

Declan Daly of SuperHomes Ireland; Margaret Hennessy, homeowner; Sean Sherlock TD; John Lahart TD; and Brian Stanley, vice chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

A local climate action initiative in the county has led to 150 homes being retrofitted

The lower reservoir in Silvermines already exists at the site by way of an open-cast mine flooded to a depth of some 70 metres at the foot of Silvermines Mountains.

Storage system plant would use water from higher reservoir to power giant turbines

Most cases brought by the EPA relate to the discharge of untreated waste water into rivers or groundwater

Environmental Protection Agency takes prosecutions, while local authorities enforce main water pollution acts

The report also warns that people in the east Mediterranean face a threat ‘markedly higher than in Africa and southeast Asia’ Photograph: iStock

Lancet medical journal warns older people ‘particularly vulnerable to extremes of heat’

Denjoe O’Connor, professor of theoretical physics, at the launch of the  Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) new four-year strategy. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

DIAS launches new research strategy to explore space, oceans and subatomic world

In urban areas transport-related emissions of nitrogen-dioxide arising from fossil-fuelled vehicles are close to the EU limit, and continue to pose the biggest threat as Ireland is often above the health-related and tighter WHO and EEA guidelines. Photograph: Getty Images

EPA report says while Ireland’s air quality did not exceed legal limits, air quality is impacting negatively on people’s health

A photo provided by NASA of composite image of Mars. Photograph: NASA/The New York Times

InSight probe lands on a flat plain just north of the planet’s equator called Elysium Planitia

Richard Bruton: Up to €25 million of Government funds are available towards projects delivering energy savings to communities, including public buildings, homes and businesses. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Private Members’ Bill introduced by Brian Stanley of Sinn Féin would force energy providers, to buy electricity produced by ‘micro(...)

Shot in the arm: it is heartening to see how many coffee shops and other food businesses are cutting back on single-use containers. Photograph: iStock/Getty

The ‘Irish Times’ war on waste food survey finds food businesses are making progress – but fast food and ready meals are black spo(...)

Joe Healy IFA President: five actions the  Government can take to support farming to deliver on climate mitigation.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘Farmers ready to roll up their sleeves on climate action’

Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France. File photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

President joins 15 European heads of state and government in declaration ahead of UN conference

 20 species of whales, dolphin and porpoises were recorded, with  2,200 aerial sightings  confirmed by the ObSERVE Programme.

Survey gives first insights into illusive species in deep waters of Irish Atlantic Margin

Pictured at the launch of Coalition 2030’s report on the Sustainable Development Goals  was Dr Susan Murphy, Assistant Professor in Development Practice, TCD.  Photograph: Photocall Ireland

Report from Coalition 2030 highlights major problems with housing and climate action

From 2020 onwards, the cost of not meeting our climate commitments will grow very significantly, Minister for Climate action Richard Bruton has said. File photograph:  Tom Honan

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton says Ireland might achieve 1 per cent reduction by 2020

From right to left: Dr Pierre Marie Aubert, co-ordinator of the European Agriculture Initiative, Prof Valerie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of UN Working Group 1 for the IPCC report, Georgina Teslary, Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore, Elaine Nevin, Eco-UNesco’s national director, Edward Tierney, DFEI Dun Laoghaire, and Prof Peter Thorne, director of Icarus at the  Royal Irish Academy.   Photograph: Jenny Barker

Ireland has potential to adopt ‘nature-based solutions’ such as the use of peatlands to capture carbon dioxide, climate expert say(...)

The Environmental Protection Agency says no E.coli testing was reported for 711 small private water supplies during 2017. Photograph: Getty

Report finds many supplies to creches and hotels are not on local authorities’ register

Collette Delahunt,  whose son Seán has severe epilepsy and is  now one of 50   people who are undergoing intensive evaluation at the FutureNeuro research centre in Dublin.  Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Teenager has been through brain surgery, a neuro-stimulation operation and steroid treatment. Now his seizures are under control

At the FutureNeuro SFI research centre launched at RCSI in Dublin, from left,  Prof David Henshall, professor of molecular physiology and neuroscience at RCSI and centre director for FutureNeuro; Jack Banks, PhD student at the FutureNeuro Centre; Minister for Business,  Heather Humphreys,  and Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Joint scientific approach to focus on genetic links, therapeutic needs and clinical care

Minister for Climate Action, Richard Bruton. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Latest figures suggest per capita emissions in Ireland are close to five tonnes of CO2 a year – which translates to each citizen p(...)

Biology teacher Sinead Reilly from O’Connell School in Dublin playing ‘guess the organ’ during a ‘blood and guts’ demonstration with pupils from Dublin 7 Educate Together National School in Grangegorman. as part of  Schools Science Day. Photograph: Kevin O’Sullivan

Schools Science Day marked at O’Connell’s in Dublin with visit from 300 junior students

Prof Terry Hughes was jointly awarded the 2018 Maddox Prize

Prof Terry Hughes is jointly awarded John Maddox Prize for bringing public attention to coral bleaching through Australian researc(...)

Ray McCabe of McCabe’s Deli in Dublin who for Food Month is promoting his smaller-sized items to go with morning tea/coffee.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times.

As portion sizes increase, especially for snack foods, Kevin O’Sullivan looks at ways to beat the bulge

Secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Public Reform, Robert Watt  said ‘pricing carbon works and it should be the primary tool in our arsenal to combat climate change’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Consumers, industry and business to face higher taxes on fossil fuels – Robert Watt

Flooding along the banks of the Shannon near Athlone. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Eamon Ryan says change not radical enough and past schemes should be climate-proofed

 Alison Duggan, student at St Colman’s Community College, Midleton, Co Cork speaking at the Evidence Matters event at the Houses of the Oireachtas. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Young people, environmental organisations, and others address TDs and Senators

On the research image of the year shortlist: A 3D printed miniature model of Trinity College’s iconic Campanile shown in front of a housefly (Musca domestica). The model is only 2mm tall. It was fabricated using 3D two-photon lithography in AMBER’s new Additive Research Laboratory, where a unique suite of cutting edge Additive Manufacturing tools - 3D printers - are used in cross platform projects including energy storage systems, opto-electronics and medical devices. Photograph: Dr Matthias Kremer TCD

Prof John Boland among leading Irish scientists to feature in SFI annual awards

David McCourt told Science Foundation Ireland’s science summit that every innovation over the past 30 years had a link to the internet and/or GPS systems, which would not have existed with government backing.

Trustworthy information on big data increasingly hard to find, science summit hears

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