Environment + Energy – Analysis and Comment

Labor has released a six point climate plan, which features a proposed phased emissions trading scheme. Lukas Coch/AAP

PolicyCheck: Labor’s phased emissions trading scheme

Labor has said it would introduce an emissions trading scheme for large emitters. PolicyCheck unpacks the detail and provenance of this proposed plan.
Coral Bleaching at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef. © XL Catlin Seaview Survey

Great Barrier Reef bleaching would be almost impossible without climate change

This summer's record-breaking coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was made 175 times more likely thanks to climate change.
Australia’s mountains may be small but each year they deliver enough snow for winter sports. Andrew Watkins

When is it going to snow? Getting a fix on what can make a good season

Australia's snow season is notoriously fickle - so what determines whether we'll get a good fall?
They might be eating your home, but termites play a vital role in ecosystems. Termite image from www.shutterstock.com

Hidden housemates: the termites that eat our homes

Termite damage costs Australian homes at least a billion dollars each year – but they are absolutely vital for ecosystems.
The EVA Lanxmeer development in the Netherlands provides a model for how to incorporate green infrastructure in all aspects of the planning process. Tony Matthews

Here’s how green infrastructure can easily be added to the urban planning toolkit

Green infrastructure can be delivered relatively easily using existing planning processes. The main obstacle could be psychological: planners are wary of disruption to embedded practices.
Data about farms' financial situation as well as the weather could help identify those most vulnerable to drought. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Drought forecasting isn’t just about water – to get smart we need health and financial data too

Forecasting drought should be about more than weather – to help those likely to be hit hardest, we need financial and even health data too.
More than 160 nations will sign the Paris Agreement on its opening day – a record for a United Nations treaty. Aotearoa/Wikimedia Commons

The Paris Agreement signing ceremony at a glance

More than 160 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement in New York on April 22. But enough countries will also need to ratify the treaty domestically before it can become international law.
A woman in Burkina Faso collects firewood. Developing nations – and particularly women in these nations – are more vulnerable to climate change, and have less ability to adapt. CIFOR/Flickr

Climate justice and its role in the Paris Agreement

Climate justice is becoming an increasingly important part of climate action.
Some materials and surfaces radiate much more heat (red areas) than others, as can be seen in this thermal image of Arncliffe Street in Wolli Creek, Sydney.

Building cool cities for a hot future

Hot spots occur at the scale of where people live – the building, the street, the block – which means urban design and building materials have profound implications for our health and well-being.
Tasmania’s bushfires damaged pristine bushland and stretched emergency services to the limit. AAP Image/Patrick Caruana

Was Tasmania’s summer of fires and floods a glimpse of its climate future?

This summer has seen Tasmania suffer through drought, bushfires, floods and the worst marine heatwave on record. Is this what life under a climate-changed future will be like?
A park, in this case Hyde Park in Sydney, is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to engage with nature in the city. Lucy Taylor

Reducing stress at work is a walk in the park

Nature is dispersed through our cities, even if we don’t notice it. And there's abundant evidence that engaging with nature, even in urban settings, is good for us.