No-frills airline Ryanair is now one of the top 10 carbon polluters in Europe, breaking into what had been a coal plants-only club until now.
According to transport policy group Transport & Environment (T&E), Ryanair’s No. 10 ranking in new figures released by the European Commission are a reflection of Europe’s failure to take meaningful measures to curb aviation emissions. This can be seen in the numbers: aviation emissions have grown a startling 26.3 per cent in the last five years, in contrast to other emissions-trading sectors which have decreased by 11.6 per cent since 2013.
“When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal,” says Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E. He warns that this trend will only continue until Europe taxes and regulates the aviation sector, beginning with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates forcing airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.
T&E takes aim at Corsia, which it describes as a “controversial” UN carbon offsetting scheme for aviation that has allowed aviation emissions to continue growing. According to T&E, the scheme allows airlines to emit even more carbon by purchasing ultra-cheap offsets instead of reducing their own carbon footprint.
“Aviation is Europe’s biggest climate failure,” argues Murphy. “The time has come for a big change in Europe’s aviation policy.”
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