The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has been ranked as the 10th most polluting company in Europe, making it the first company operating outside the coal industry to occupy so high a place on the list.
According to the data from the European Commission published on Monday by the NGO Transport & Environment, the low cost airline became one of the ten biggest polluters in Europe, with a 6.9 percent increase in its carbon dioxide emissions in 2018.
Aviation is estimated to contribute 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Studies estimates that its share is actually two to four times larger. In January, the European Environment Agency and the European Aviation Safety Agency reported that CO2 emissions increased by 10 percent between 2014 and 2017.
This is as a result of the explosion in the industry’s growth in the last two decades.
Between 2013 and 2017 alone, the number of passengers transported in the European Union rose from 840 million to more than one billion. And the trend is growing. In October 2018, the association of international airlines predicted a doubling of world traffic over the next twenty years, to reach 8.2 billion passengers in 2037 – against 4.1 billion in 2017.
Ryanair had a record year in 2017 carrying 120 million passengers.
Andrew Murphy of the European Federation for Transport and Environment said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”