Fire  progresses in the woods in the Angeles National Forest north of Monrovia, north east of Los Angeles, California in September. Signs -of ongoing climate change are all too apparent in the modern era.  Photograph: Etienne Laurent/EPA

Analysis: Activists hope Biden victory would herald a fundamental shift in US policy

‘If we do not protect and restore biodiversity we will fail to meet our climate goals,’ Prof Buckley has said. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Technology to capture CO2 also has role to play, says energy expert

Just transition entails profound structural change with personal and societal ramifications, the President has said. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

All must make significant lifestyle changes but just transition essential for most vulnerable, President says

Restoring boglands would be a marvellous incentive for staycations while at the same time protecting biodiversity, Mr Mulvey believed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kieran Mulvey of Just Transition calls for urgent change to State aid rules

Prof John Fitzgerald: ‘The legislation should not be over-prescriptive on additional functions for the Council that could serve to distract from or dilute its core mandate.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Overly presciptive legislation will not serve country well seeking carbon neutrality – Prof

The committee was told that national climate laws needed to put in place systems of governance which ‘bake in’ a need to ‘course correct’ if ever progress is falling behind. File photograph: Getty

Oireachtas committee on climate action is told that the proposal lacks accountability

Sixth class students Eoghan Ó Maoláin and Áine Nic Dheá from Gaelsoil Riabhach, Loughrea, Co Galway, who will chair the Ask a Scientist online panel discussion on Friday November 6th as part of the inaugural Science on Screen Film Festival Ireland. Photograph: Emilija Jefremova

Film-makers and researchers to feature critical topics including climate change and health research

Yodith Moloney,  from Salesians Primary School, Limerick, and Dr Sarah Hayes light up the room with science during the SSPC Science Magic Show  as part of a previous University of Limerick Science Week. Photograph: Brian Arthur

‘Choosing our future’ mission to explore how science will shape a better world

Sales of protected urea have increased significantly this year with almost 40,000 tonnes sold between January and June this year

‘What often gets overlooked is positive and tangible change occurring at farm level’

The CAP deal is the ‘first step’ in providing a stable framework for farmers to plan their business over the next few years, Minister Charlie McConalogue said. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Reforms ‘will not address climate, biodiversity or water problems generated by Irish agriculture’

Polluted skies over a solar power generation base in Yanqing, north of Beijing, in September. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Beijing’s plans for carbon neutrality by 2060 will have global impact, says IIEA report

Prof John Sweeney said he reacted with dismay as weak aspects of the 2015 Climate Bill were incorporated into the Bill.  Photograph: Frank Miller /	THE IRISH TIMES

Legislation ‘is very weak compared to leading climate laws adopted elsewhere’ – environmental law expert

IFA president Tim Cullinan: Farmers feel increasingly like powerless spectators in the management of their own forests, locked into forestry under the replanting obligation without recourse. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Farmers ‘no longer view forestry as a safe investment’, IFA president tells committee

A file image of a 10-week-old baby girl being bottle fed. Photograph:   Getty Images

TCD team was ‘gobsmacked” at the number of microplastics produced by baby bottles

Amber and Trinity researchers involved in the groundbreaking research on microplastics produced from infant feeding bottles. From left to right: Prof John Boland; Dr Jing Jing Wang, Prof Liwen Xiao, Dr Dunzhu Li, Dr Yunhong Shi and Dr Luming Yang.

Higher liquid temperatures inside bottle give off more microplastics, Trinity study finds

A key mechanism being put in place by a new renovation task force was to enable householders make the right retrofitting choices and to facilitate group applications for approval, which would reduce costs and increase speed of delivery, Eamon Ryan said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister says funding would end a stop-start grants approval process for householders

“We can’t have the backloading of emissions reductions to the second half of this decade.” Photograph: Getty Images

Chairman of Climate Change Advisory Council says reducing emissions while enhancing farmer incomes is realisable

A man wearing a face mask walks past an entrance to Belfast City Hospital, Northern Ireland. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Marked differences in testing and tracing make co-operation more difficult

Dr Áine Ryall: Independence and expertise of the Climate Change Advisory Council needs to be strengthened to ensure the State lives up to its legal obligations on addressing climate change.

Weaknesses in climate action Bill need to be addressed, says Dr Diarmuid Torney

The Commission endorsed use of agricultural wastes in anaerobic digesters to generate biomethane. Photograph: Robert Perry/EPA

New strategy has major implications for natural gas imports and agriculture

Former minister for climate action Richard Bruton (Fine Gael) said for the first time carbon budgets were being introduced with binding targets. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times.

Members criticise vague language and failure to include key emissions targets

Prominent mathematics education lecturer Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (assistant professor at UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics) has been honoured as the recipient of the 2020 Maths Week Ireland Award for her contribution to raising public awareness of maths, pictured with Dr Sheila Donegan, and Eoin Gill, co-founders of Maths Week. Photograph: John Ohle Photography

Dr Ní Shúilleabháin praised for raising public awareness of maths

The new blood test works by measuring levels of two molecules that send messages to the body’s immune system and control inflammation. Photograph: NIAID via The New York Times

‘Dublin-Boston score’ has potential to inform doctors on best treatment options

Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan  insists  changes to VRT “reflect better rules” in accurately determining carbon emissions  from vehicles. File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

New car dealers say changes are ‘anti-motorist, anti-rural and anti-climate’

The overhaul of motor tax and vehicle registration tax  is designed to push car buyers towards green choices

Over €220 million for retrofitting homes and €1 billion for public transport allocated

“In 2018 alone, 5.3 million children died before their fifth birthdays. Behind each statistic there is a mother struggling to feed her child and not succeeding.” Photograph: Getty Images

‘Alarming’ or ‘serious’ levels of hunger identified in 51 countries

No sanctionable clauses requiring the EU and Mercosur countries in South America to respect climate or environmental protection  Photo by Carl de Souza/AFP via Getty

Greenpeace also says deal would help ‘accelerate the destruction of the Amazon’

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

New Bill sets course for ‘faster and fairer climate action’

Remdesivir has been shown to be effective on patients who require supplementary oxygen and is the only Covid-19 pharmacological treatment option licensed for use in Ireland. Photograph: Ulrich Perrey/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Acute shortages reported in number of countries because of difficulties with stocks from US

Legislation strongly indicates “national determination” that the Irish economy becomes carbon-neutral by 2050 – Taoiseach

Legisation will not automatically address climate crisis but sets course – Taoiseach

All major sectors will be subject to a cap on carbon pollution. File photograph: Getty

Law will affect every element of society, with binding five-yearly carbon dioxide limits

The late Science journalist and entrepreneur Mary Mulvihill. Photograph:   Brian Dolan.

A prize of €2,000 is up for grabs for the best submission on the theme of ‘virus’

A female spiny seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) shelters is a healthy meadow of common eelgrass. Photograph: Alexander Mustard

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to ‘give careful consideration’ to findings

Dr Tara Shine has worked as an international climate change negotiator and  was special adviser to  the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice group  before setting up  sustainability consultancy based in  Co Cork. Photograph:  John Allen

Dr Tara Shine to monitor progress and enhance delivery on Paris Agreement goals

There is one frontier where there is marked co-operation and broad political consensus on what needs to be done quickly. That is transforming how we generate and use energy.  Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland is entering a decade of huge change as it embraces renewables, overhauls public transport and retrofits 500,000 homes

Domestic energy: Households and businesses will soon have devices that facilitate the “prosumer” generation.

‘Electricity is going to be the fuel of the future,’ chief executive of Pinergy believes

Wind farm at Barna, near Scartaglen, Co Kerry. File photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

Recommendations include expanding public transport and reducing oil use

In its 2020 review the council stresses the urgency of “shifting from planning to action” if the country is to reduce emissions over the next decade, and get on track to achieve a net-zero emissions economy and society by 2050.  Photograph: iStock

Climate council stresses the urgency of ‘shifting from planning to action’ to reduce emissions

Prof Terry Tao’s Hamilton lecture will draw on his childhood fascination with astronomy and distances between planets.

The ‘Mozart of math’ Terry Tao will deliver this year’s Royal Irish Academy Hamilton Lecture

Ringsend waste water treatment plant treats some 40 per cent of Ireland’s public waste water but is operating at over capacity and not in compliance with national and EU environmental regulations.

33 towns and villages will continue discharging raw sewage after 2021 over lack of waste water treatment plant

Dr Graeme Maxwell, head of specialty products & services with Tyndall National Institute with Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the opening of the new Electron Beam Lithography Lab at the research facility in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Micheál Martin briefed on Cork research facility’s ambitious expansion plans

Differences of opinion in Coalition are surfacing, says Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan,  but are being worked through collectively. ‘It has steadied down.’ File photograph: The Irish Times

‘This turning point ... is the equivalent of that paper Whitaker wrote 60 years ago’

Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan says concerns exist about the impact the emissions targets will have for farmers: ‘I think it’s fair to acknowledge the real concern around agriculture.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Bill will have far-reaching consequences on operation of every aspect of Irish economy

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (centre) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. Photograph: Getty

Worldwide demonstrations take place as reminder of urgency needed to tackle crisis

Initial studies of the impact of the coronavirus restrictions in March to May of 2020 indicate levels of NO2 dropped dramatically, especially in urban areas. Photograph: Getty Images

Air pollutants exceeded WHO guidelines at 33 locations in Ireland in 2019

UN secretary-general António Guterres: “The climate emergency is fully upon us, and we have no time to waste.” Photograph: Eskinder Debebe

December gathering to signal global decarbonisation ‘increasingly irreversible’

 Covid-19 saliva test could allow people to  provide samples of saliva at home and send them in for analysis, reducing the personnel and PPE needed for testing. File image: George Frey/Getty Images

Another Government-funded project is to create plastic packaging that is resistant to the virus

The legislation will change the way appeals lodged against felling licences are handled and allow the Forestry Appeals Committee to increase in size and to hear more than one appeal at a time. Photograph: iStock

Coillte warned that the backlog could lead to timber shortages and thousands of job losses

Oweninny Wind Farm in Co Mayo, which Bord na Móna is building as a joint venture with the ESB

Semi-State on track to achieve 300% increase in its renewable energy output in this decade

Protesters demonstrating outside the Economy Ministry in Berlin this week. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

‘Rocky ride’ for pact between EU and South America if Amazon deforestation persists

Ireland has the potential to deliver a world-class power system by 2030 with an electricity grid capable of operating with close to 100 per cent renewable energy, but it has to convince people of the benefits first, Eirgrid’s chief executive has said. File photograh: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Eirgrid chief says: ‘It’s up to us to convince the nation this vision that we collectively have is the right one’

According to the research, wind occurring at 120m – the height of a standard wind turbine – will decrease, notably in summer. Photograph: Mat Fascione/

Significant warming expected inside 30 years with more heavy rains and longer dry periods

A woman walks through flood water in Cork city, February 2014. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

East to be worst affected by temperature rises, and more extreme rain also predicted

Former president Mary Robinson was speaking at the remote Global Ireland 2020 conference. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

State must approach climate diplomacy on global stage ‘with a deep sense of humility’

Eamon Ryan: ‘The Government welcomes the increasing impetus and focus at EU level on climate action.’ File photograph: Maxwells

Environment Minister says Government will work with EU to achieve ‘radical transformation’

Plug-in hybrid vehicles run on a battery charged with electricity from the grid or through a conventionally-fuelled engine. Photograph: iStock

Motor industry accuses groups of analysing figures that were abandoned in favour of ‘more robust’ test

Ireland generated 14 million tonnes of waste in 2018. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Figures indicate State is ‘going in wrong direction across a number of indicators, such as falling recycling levels’

The results published in Nature debunk the modern image of the typical Viking both within Scandinavia and across Europe. Photograph: iStock

Major international genetic study reveals ties to Norway and different traits to classical portrayals

 Facebook said it would work to reduce emissions through efficient designs, supplier engagement and carbon-removal technology including nature-based solutions. Photograph: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Social media giant’s move to be ‘supported by renewable energy’ and will affect Meath data centre

A report by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) says planning decisions need to be made faster if the scale of renewable energy expansion in a very tight timeframe is to be realised. File photograph: Reuters

Study says planning decisions for renewable energy need to be made faster

 Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan said the scheme would help lower electricity prices by up to 30 per cent in coming years. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

New Government scheme to support €1.4bn investment and generate 1,000 jobs

Farmers protest outside the Dáil following the announcement of the Mercosur trade agreement. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Trade deal will be a failure on sustainability grounds, international researchers find

The court said the project must be subject to a new environmental assessment under the EU Habitats Directive. File photograph: Getty

‘Far reaching’ ruling welcomed by Friends of the Irish Environment which brought action

World-renowned astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Astrophysicist Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and immunologist Prof Luke O’Neill will feature

ESB’s current strategy is entirely based on Ireland’s need to move to a low-carbon energy system as part of meeting the Paris Agreement, an ESB spokesman said. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

State bodies must play ‘active role in delivery of our climate ambition’ – DCCAE insists

Friends of the Earth, along with a number of other climate groups, has called on the Government to revise the mandates of Ireland’s public bodies to ensure reliable, secure and climate-safe energy generation and distribution.

ESB and Gas Networks Ireland plans ‘at odds with decarbonisation objective’

Mike Cooley (centre) accepting the Right Livelihood Award with co-recipients Patrick van Rensburg (left) and Bill Mollison (Right) in 1981.

Tuam native placed the human at centre of technological innovation

Turf on a peat bog in Connemara National Park

A nationwide ban on smoky fuels, supports for ‘fuel poverty’ and heat pumps will all help

A nationwide smoky coal ban has been favoured by some environment ministers – but coal firms from outside the State have threatened legal action. File photograph: Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

Focus on coal overlooks fact peat and wood also release dangerous microscopic particles

In Ireland, 380,000 people have asthma and 890,000 people will suffer from the condition at some stage of their lives. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Some, including initial proponent Mary Harney, argue the ban should be nationwide

The Republic’s transmission system ‘is now struggling to cope with rising levels of renewable energy, a challenge which will only grow as new wind and solar farms are built’.  File photograph: The Irish Times

Infrastructure struggling to cope with rising level of renewable energy, according to report

The programme for government commits to introducing a deposit-and-refund scheme for plastic bottles and aluminium cans. Photograph: Getty

Plan for drink containers would result in loss of 1.2m kerbside collection points

“It is expected this breakthrough will. . . lead to earlier diagnosis and better treatments for people with certain brain disorders,” says Dr Vijay Tiwari at Queen’s University Belfast.

Research suggests screening for certain genetic variants will enable earlier diagnosis

The ‘tipping point’ concept suggests ecosystems can absorb a given amount of environmental pressure before hitting a threshold. Photograph: iStock

Evaluation suggests using ecosystem thresholds to develop policies is not best approach

‘Irish grass-fed beef’ could be destined for a special EU status.

Achill Island Sea Salt may also be set to receive special protection from Brussels

Shane Kenny on Achill this week.

Former RTÉ broadcaster seeks full explanation of aluminium problem in island’s supply

Irish Water has confirmed it is investigating complaints from the public about a strange taste or smell from drinking water in parts of Dublin. File photograph: Getty Images

Utility responds after complaints from residents in some areas of the city about water

Scientists have found that air pollution in the winter is associated with more hospitalisations in Dublin due to strokes. File photograph: Getty

Research leads to call for national ban on solid fuel burning

The capacity of the data centres ‘already here exceeds substantially any demand arising in Ireland’, says Colm McCarthy

‘Extensive Irish commitment to data centres’ could cause cost to consumer, study finds

Neil Connolly of the Connolly Motor Group says customers are very confused; there are a lot of mixed messages.

Buyers may want to go green, but for those travelling long distances the range is small

The intermediate target of having 180,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025 is optimistic, according to a new report. File photograph: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

Reform needed to safeguard €6bn income while promoting electric vehicles, economist warns

The Migrant Rights Centre claims there are more than 15, 300 workers in the meat sector, of which 58% are migrant workers. File photograph: Getty

Health Protection Surveillance Centre advice noted the need for pod or groups of workers

About 300,000 people in Ireland have osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle. Photograph: iStock

Findings open door to potential new osteoporosis therapies

Renewable energy auction will help replace fossil fuels on the grid. Photograph: iStock

Energy companies bid against each other for contracts of 16.5 years to provide service

In this landmark case, there was no dispute between the parties concerning climate science. File photograph: The Irish Times

Decision a reminder that failure on climate commitments is actionable in court of law

The Lawns being removed from the front entrance at Trinity College. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Re-wilding of lawns at the entrance are an effort to address biodiversity crisis

Like John Tyndall, who always underlined the need for science communication and engagement with the public, Tyndall National Institute in UCC has a major programme of science engagement in tandem with advanced research. Above  public engagement and outreach officers Dr Caitriona Tyndall and Alida Zauers with Albi Morrish in the Tyndall Atrium adjoining the cleanroom during Culture Night. Photograph: Clare Keogh.

Carlow man reached the pinnacle of 19th century science but full recognition eluded him

The authors call for nine ambitious actions to be undertaken by policymakers and individuals. Photograph:iStock

New modifiable factors include alcohol consumption, head injuries in mid-life and air pollution

The Lancet Commission on prevention of dementia has set out new risk factors and including nine actions for policymakers and individuals after a review by its panel of international experts. Photograph: iStock

40 per cent of dementia could be prevented or delayed by targeting 12 factors, Lancet says

Ireland is overdue a 3m storm surge, long before the end of the century. File photograph: The Irish Times

Hard data indicating scale of impact likely to be far greater than unreliable past forecasts

Flood protection barrier at Laytown beach, Co Meath. Photograph: iStock

Projections show flooding could have far-reaching negative effects globally by 2100

Too often good science is countered by ignorance.  This is evident in the US, where objectivity has become a matter of opinion. The plight of the federal government’s top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci is the prime illustration of this. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

Compelling case exists for an independent network of scientific advisers to advise government on the great challenges we face

The programme for government states: “We do not believe that it makes sense to develop LNG gas import terminals importing fracked gas. Accordingly, we shall withdraw the Shannon LNG terminal from the EU Projects of Common Interest list in 2021.” File photograph: Getty

New Fortress Energy has said it is pushing ahead to develop LNG terminal in Shannon Estuary

Spain said the Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza, and the Canary Islands should feature on Ireland’s green list. Photograph: Getty Images

Figures confirm sharp rises in cases in some green- list countries such as Malta since July 21st

Matt Dempsey of Tillage Industry Ireland and Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary outside Agriculture House in Dublin launching the report on Tuesday. Photograph: Karen Morgan

Tillage has strong environmental benefits compared to other types of farming, report says

Research published in the journal Respirology shows treatment with tocilizumab may deliver a favourable outcome in seriously-ill Covid-19 patients. Photograph:  Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

UCD study finds evidence supporting monoclonal antibody therapy is growing

The winding facility for the construction of poloidal field coils during the launch of the assembly stage of nuclear fusion machine Tokamak of  the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, France. Photograph: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images

Facility means fusion takes step towards generating clean energy source at scale

The 2015 eruption at Wolf Volcano in the Galápagos Archipelago. Photograph: Gabriel Salazar

Research on Galapagos Islands found volcanoes hide magmas under the ground

The West Point neighbourhood in the Liberian capital Monrovia, which residents have had to leave because of rising sea levels. Photograph: Zoom Dosso/AFP via Getty Images

Call for donor countries to build climate change resilience into Covid-19 recovery plans

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