Greens’ bid on climate change fails: The federal government has rejected an attempt by the Australian Greens to introduce measures to slash greenhouse gas emissions. The Democrats backed the Climate Change Action Bill 2006, put forward by Greens senator Christine Milne, which includes provisions for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The bill sought to implement a wide range of actions to accelerate Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy. SMH

Melbourne gets great water escape: Melburnians may have evaded the city’s harshest level of water bans after the State Government yesterday delayed the onset of stage 4 restrictions. In a move that saved suburban football leagues from a disastrous 2007 season without any watering of ovals, Premier Steve Bracks announced a new intermediate level in the tiered water restriction system. The Age

Two-thirds of world could face water shortage in 2025: The head of the FAO said on Thursday that two-thirds of the world’s population could be threatened by water shortages by 2025. Jacques Diouf, director-general of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organiation, said in a speech on World Water Day that 1.2 billion people currently live in areas with insufficient water. An additional 500 million could soon face shortages, he said. The News (Pakistan)

“Global warming, stop!”, sister orders: Recalling claims that “Jesus’ spirit” ended a SARS outbreak in 2003, a Filipino sister has called on global warming to stop “in Jesus’ name”. UCA News reports that Sr Raquel Reodica of the Religious of the Virgin Mary has prayed on national television for an end to global warming, ordering the “spirits” to stop all natural disasters. Catholic News Australia

Portugal investing billions in renewable energy: Portugal plans investments of €8.1 billion (US$10.8 billion) in renewable energy projects over the next five years, a government official said on Thursday. Antonio Castro Guerra, assistant secretary of state for Industry and Innovation, said in a speech to a renewable energy conference that the investments would create about 10,000 new jobs. International Herald Tribune