Group of 20 states ‘must take harder carbon line’

A technician demonstrates a car pollution control in Paris. Fifteen technical control centers will now experience new measures of pollutant emissions from passenger cars. (AFP)
Updated 01 September 2016
0

Group of 20 states ‘must take harder carbon line’

PARIS: G20 states must work harder to ensure a swifter transition to a low carbon economy, NGOs urged Wednesday, notably deploring continued EU finance for fossil fuel-powered projects.
Major powers should revise upwards by a factor of six greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030 to meet their commitments of limiting temperature rises to two Celsius under last year’s Paris Accord on climate change, Climate Transparency said.
“Our report shows that while global emissions growth may be coming to an end, there is not yet the necessary dynamic to transform the ‘brown’ fossil-fuel based economy and into the ‘green’,” said Climate Transparency, a grouping of international research centers, in a report released ahead of a weekend G20 summit in China.
“The G20 is responsible for 75 percent of global emissions, and its energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased by 56 percent from 1990-2013,” the report said.
“While the positive news is that this growth has now stalled, the negative is that there is still more brown than green on the Climate Transparency G20 scorecard,” the report said, highlighting a 2009 pledge by G20 states to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Climate Transparency co-president Peter Eigen nonetheless praised summit host China for “taking more action than many countries.
“Climate leadership from China at the G20 Summit could help set the world on the right path to a future safe from the worst ravages of climate change,” said Eigen as the report rated China, India, France, Germany, the United States and Britain best “in terms of investment attractiveness” while urging Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do better.
The Hangzhou summit will push for the early entry into force of last year’s Paris Agreement.
The global NGO group Climate Action Network expressed concern that the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had assigned some 12 billion euros ($13 billion) to fossil fuel projects between 2013 and 2015 and that Brussels had earmarked some 1.6 billion euros for fossil fuel infrastructure from 2014 to 2020.
CAN Europe coordinator Maeve McLynn said EU policies such as the Emission Trading Scheme were also supporting controversial fossil fuel projects.
“The EU proudly stipulates that it has been a leading voice in advocating for strong climate action internationally. It has also pledged to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies, including fossil fuel subsidies by 2020,” said McLynn.
But she said the evidence suggested “the EU is way off track to achieve this goal” while “its public funding is out of sync with the Paris Agreement.
“The Hangzhou summit is (therefore) an opportunity for all G20 leaders to pave the way for a smooth and prosperous transition to zero carbon economies,” McLynn said
Last week, organizations including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth wrote to US President Barack Obama to express their concern that the mooted Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could pose a threat to environmental protection standards.


Southwest challenged engine maker over speed of safety checks

Updated 20 April 2018
0

Southwest challenged engine maker over speed of safety checks

  • The proposed inspections would have cost $170 per engine for two hours of labor
  • Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly explained the airline’s maintenance procedures in a 59-second video posted to Twitter

WASHINGTON/PARIS: Southwest Airlines clashed with engine-maker CFM over the timing and cost of proposed inspections after a 2016 engine accident, months before the explosion this week of a similar engine on a Southwest jet that led to the death of a passenger, public documents showed.
The proposed inspections would have cost $170 per engine for two hours of labor, for a total bill to US carriers of $37,400, the US Federal Aviation Administration said in its August 2017 proposal, citing the engine manufacturer.
The documents reveal that airlines including Southwest thought the FAA had “vastly understated” the number of engines that would need to be inspected — and therefore the cost.
The documents are part of the public record on the FAA’s initial proposal for inspections and the response from airlines made in October, within the designated comment period.
The FAA and CFM International made the inspection recommendations after a Southwest flight in August 2016 made a safe emergency landing in Florida after a fan blade separated from the same type of engine. Debris ripped a foot-long hole above the left wing. Investigators found signs of metal fatigue.
On Tuesday, a broken fan blade touched off an engine explosion on Southwest Airlines flight 1380, shattering a window of the Boeing 737 jet and killing a passenger. It was the first death in US airline service since 2009.
The FAA is not bound by any specified time periods in deciding whether to order inspections and must assess the urgency of each situation.
Southwest and other airlines in their responses in October objected to a call by CFM to complete all inspections within 12 months. The FAA proposed up to 18 months, backed by Southwest and most carriers. Southwest also told the FAA that only certain fan blades should be inspected, not all 24 in each engine.
“SWA does NOT support the CFM comment on reducing compliance time to 12 months,” Southwest wrote in an October submission.
CFM is a joint venture of General Electric Co. and France’s Safran.
Southwest said in its submission that the FAA’s proposal would force the carrier to inspect some 732 engines in one of two categories under review — much higher than the FAA’s total estimate of 220 engines across the whole US fleet.
“The affected engine count for the fleet in costs of compliance ... appears to be vastly understated,” it said.
Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said on Thursday that the comments “were to add further clarification on items included in the proposed AD (airworthiness directive).”
She said the company had satisfied CFM’s recommendations, but she did not immediately answer questions about how many engines had been inspected and whether the failed engine had been inspected.
Late on Thursday, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly explained the airline’s maintenance procedures in a 59-second video posted to Twitter. He said the airline hires GE to do heavy overhaul or maintenance work on all of its engines.
“So GE provides the guidelines for maintenance inspections and repairs over the life of the engines,” he said.


The airline on Tuesday evening said it would conduct accelerated ultrasonic inspections of the fan blades on CFM56 engines within the next 30 days.
“In addition to our accelerated inspections we are meeting with GE and Boeing on a daily basis regarding the progress of the inspections and we will continue to work with them throughout the rest of the investigation,” Kelly said in the video.
The FAA said on Wednesday it would finalize the airworthiness directive it had proposed in August within two weeks. It will require inspections of some CFM56-7B engines. FAA officials acknowledged that the total number of engines affected could be higher than first estimated.
The FAA, which has issued more than 100 airworthiness directives just since the beginning of this year, has said that the time it takes to finalize directives depends on the complexity of the issue and the agency’s risk assessment based on the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of the outcome.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday that investigators would be on the scene into the weekend but declined any new comment on the investigation.
Investigators said one of the fan blades on Tuesday’s Southwest flight broke and fatigue cracks were found.