Editor's note

2018 will be yet another record year for global greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels, according to the annual audit from the Global Carbon Project. Despite warnings that we need to take urgent action to curb climate change, the world is on track to pump out 37 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide this year, report Pep Canadell and colleagues. It’s a grim situation, especially as global emissions had shown signs of having levelled off after an earlier peak in 2013. But this year marks the second straight year of record emissions, with yet another rise forecast for 2019.

Closer to home, however, is some more encouraging news. Renewable energy can reduce prices as well as emissions - even in South Australia, scene of some of the energy debate’s bitterest arguments. Analysis by Bruce Mountain and Steven Percy shows that renewable energy brought prices down to far less than they would otherwise have been, even factoring in subsidies. They conclude that what really caused South Australia’s power price woes was the high cost of gas.

And on a side note, yesterday La Conversation Canada officially launched, nearly 18 months after its English counterpart, The Conversation Canada, began. This means our unique model of journalism based on academic research and fact-based analysis is now published in both of Canada’s official languages. Bienvenue!

Michael Hopkin

Editor: Energy + Environment

Top Stories

AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Carbon emissions will reach 37 billion tonnes in 2018, a record high

Pep Canadell, CSIRO; Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia; Glen Peters, Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo; Robbie Andrew, Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo; Rob Jackson, Stanford University

For the second year in a row global greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels have risen, putting 2018 on course to set a new record, according to an annual audit from the Global Carbon Project.

Renewables can cut prices as well as emissions. David Chang/EPA

The verdict is in: renewables reduce energy prices (yes, even in South Australia)

Bruce Mountain, Victoria University; Dr Steven Percy, Victoria University

South Australia's energy prices have gone up as more renewables entered the market – but prices would have gone up even more without them.

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  • Looking past the hype about ‘trackless trams’

    Yale Zhuxiao Wong, University of Sydney

    The autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system developed in China might make buses sexy, but the technology alone won't resolve the issues of road space and right of way in Australia.

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