Reuters/James Akena

International negotiators have reached a landmark agreement to phase out the manufacture and use of heat-trapping chemical coolants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

In 1987, under the Montreal Protocol, nations agreed to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), when scientists found that CFCs were destroying the ozone layer that shields Earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation.

 Cloudtail the Snow Leopard/Flickr 

A new report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London says global wildlife populations have declined by almost 60 percent since the 1970s — and the losses continue.

The two organizations jointly release a biennial Living Planet report that assesses how the natural world is coping with the stress of rising human population. The outlook for the world’s wildlife is grim, according to Colby Loucks, the senior director of the Wildlife Conservation Program for WWF.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Starting in January 2017, Republicans will control the White House and both branches of Congress, which suggests a vastly different outlook for the US on issues related to the environment, global warming and energy.

Based on the promises President-elect Donald Trump made on the campaign trail, “advocates of clean energy and strong environmental protection have almost nothing to cheer about,” says Peter Dykstra of DailyClimate.org and Environmental Health News.

As the story goes, Native Americans — specifically, Algonquins — introduced the Pilgrims to the cranberry at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Nowadays, the tart, bright red fruit holds an honored place at the traditional American Thanksgiving feast.

Few cranberry growers have come to the modern organic movement, however. A rare exception is the popular 140-year-old Ruesch Century Farm near Vesper, Wisconsin, which advertises itself as “the world’s smallest organic cranberry bog.”

International negotiators have established the world’s largest "marine protected area" off the coast of West Antarctica. It is the first of its kind to be established in international waters.

The BagShare Project offers a creative and simple solution to the global problem of plastic bags: sewing and sharing handmade, reusable bags from scrap materials.

The project is the brainchild of Leni Fried, an artist from Cummington, Massachesetts. She began BagShare in 2007, and since then, she estimates, volunteers have made about 15,000 bags at community sewing events. Bags are donated to local stores, where customers can borrow them — instead of using disposable bags.

Elon Musk, the co-founder of Tesla motors and SpaceX, has announced a new line of attractive roofing tiles that can capture energy from the sun.

Along with a home battery, called the Power Wall, and a Tesla electric car, the new roofing tiles could form a complete personal solar power system for an individual residential home.

To achieve his vision, Musk is pushing for a merger of two companies in which he's the largest shareholder: Tesla and the home solar company, SolarCity.

Nuclear power plant sale approved

Nov 18, 2016
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant on Lake Ontario, an essential component to its completion.

Nuclear plant sale faces critical deadline

Nov 17, 2016
Nuclaer Regulatory Commission

The New York State Public Service Commission is meeting today to approve the sale of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant on the shore of Lake Ontario. It is one of two deadlines New York state must meet this week in order to ensure the nuclear plant does not close.

America is a nation of cat lovers. In the US, house cats outnumber dogs three to one. But the reality is that cats don’t always bother to love us back — nor do they need to, since we provide for them anyway. How did cats get such a sweet deal?

Abigail Tucker tries to answer that question in her new book, "The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World."

Wildlife trafficking is on the ballot in Oregon

Nov 7, 2016

When Oregon voters go to the polls this week, they will decide whether to ban the buying and selling of illegal animal products, such as ivory and jaguar skins.

The 12 species covered by ballot Measure 100 are being poached internationally at high rates and many are threatened with extinction. Supporters say Oregonians should do their part in the fight against animal trafficking with a “yes” vote.

Last summer, I stood with my wife on the edge of a sheer cliff in Glacier National Park. We stared down toward the massive Grinnell Glacier. In that moment, we decided to move to Montana.

I can work anywhere with internet, and my wife had multiple job offers at hospitals across the country. We could have picked anywhere, but we decided to make this remote region our home, the center of our universe.

Darron Birgenheier/Flickr

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has said there is “no compromise when it comes to clean air, clean land or clean water.” His vice presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, echoes this view.

But they don't go as far as you might think. 

If you’re like most people, you probably have a fridge and cupboard with too many half-used packages. You need only a cup or two of some ingredient, but you have to buy a pound or a quart, and what’s left often goes stale and ends up in the garbage.

That waste is part of the reason Sarah Metz decided to launch a new store called the Fillery.

Blanding’s turtles have about a 1 in 80 chance of living to be adults. So, a nonprofit in Boston is working to shift those odds and give baby Blanding’s turtles a better start. They're being helped by some Massachusetts students.

Sending these baby turtles to schools, where young humans can care for them and raise them for a year, can give a big lift to this regionally threatened species, says Bryan Windmiller, executive director of Grassroots Wildlife Conservation.

Chris Caya/wbfo

Environmental groups are calling on big oil companies to "come clean"about climate change.

Seth Wenig/AP

Several natural gas and coal-fired power plant owners sued New York State energy regulators Wednesday over the state's approval of billions of dollars in subsidies for aging nuclear plants.

New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Campers flocked to New York State Parks in record numbers for the fifth year in a row this year.

WBFO File Photo

Pipeline companies are not having a lot of success in New York so far in 2016. Opponents say they are dirty and continue New York’s over reliance on fossil fuels. Two projects have already been canceled.  A pipeline company representative says the projects are not as harmful as opponents say and, in fact, essential  for the state’s current electric needs.

Fall flower bulbs shine brightly come spring

Oct 13, 2016
Elizabeth Licata

This is a key time of year for gardeners who are already looking ahead to next spring. The planting of bulbs now can reap big rewards when winter comes to an end. Buffalo Spree editor Elizabeth Licata, a WBFO contributor, spoke with fellow garden writer Sally Cunningham about bulbs, and why they're a must for any serious gardener.

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A Lockport company has been fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violating chemical safety rules for handling the potentially deadly gas phosgene.

by Angelica A. Morrison / Seneca Bluff Buffalo

Efforts toward Great Lakes habitat restoration continue, as a ground breaking ceremony took place for a new local project Friday in South Buffalo.

Grape harvest coming up short in drought-ridden areas

Oct 6, 2016

Grape harvests are underway at vineyards in the Northeast where unusually dry warm weather this summer was ideal for growing grapes. But in parts of New York and southern New England, where drought struck, some growers are seeing decreasing yields.

How much will wind, solar energy cost NYers?

Oct 3, 2016

A new report from the conservative fiscal watchdog group finds that New York State's plan to boost renewable sources of energy and support struggling nuclear plants could cost more than the state estimates. The Empire Center says that could mean higher energy bills for consumers who are paying for the initiative that aims to cut harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

WBFO News photo

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Brian Higgins say there needs to be further review before more liquid radioactive waste is transported over the Peace Bridge into New York State by tractor trailer.

WBFO's Angelica Morrison

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has notified local officials confirming the presence of a harmful algae bloom in Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park.

Twelve images that capture the beauty and character of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor have been selected as winners of the 11th Annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Winning images will be featured in the 2017 Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Calendar, to be available for free in December.

Photo from the St. Mary's School for the Deaf music video

September marks National Deaf Awareness Month and we bring you a story about students at St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says they recently created an American Sign Language music video.  

How Hwee Young/Reuters

The United State and China, the two nations with the most global warming emissions, have now ratified the landmark Paris Agreement, with other countries expected to follow suit.

US President Obama and Chinese President Xi formally ratified the Paris climate agreement as heads of state gathered at the G20 meeting in China earlier this month.

Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, says this is a huge step toward implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Fracking companies in Pennsylvania want to expand their network of pipelines for the export of liquid by-products of natural gas, such as ethane and butane, which are used to make plastics — and to achieve this they are using the legal principle of eminent domain to seize private land.