Generally speaking, the list of Europe’s top carbon polluters has mainly been dominated by coal companies, but now the budget airline Ryanair has joined the infamous list, as one of the top carbon emitters in Europe.
According to the latest EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) registry, Ryanair is now ranking as the 10th largest CO2 emitter in Europe; the other 9 companies on the list are coal-fired power plants.
Ryanair is the largest airline in Europe, with more than 139.2 million passengers just in 2018, but the same year the company reportedly produced more than 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gases; a whopping 6.9% increase on the 2017 figures.
“When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal,” said Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at European Federation for Transport & Environment (T&E).
According to the EU, the emissions for the aviation industry overall increased by 4.9% in Europe just last year. In comparison, other emissions-trading sectors showed a decline of 3.9% overall.
Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary has previously stated climate change to be “complete and utter rubbish”. O’Leary responded to the report stating the airline is one of Europe’s greenest.
The aviation industry is responsible for a whole 3.6% of Europe’s greenhouse emissions. This figure is more than double of what it was in 1990. According to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), this figure is expected to grow by 300-700% by 2050.