Ryanair has now become one of Europe’s 10 biggest CO2-emitters, the Transport & Environment (T&E) organisation reported on Tuesday, based on data from the European Commission. This is the first time that an airline has made the top 10, usually dominated by companies active in the coal sector, according to T&E, which campaigns for cleaner transport in Europe based on the principles of sustainable development.
Ryanair is in 10th place, with its CO2 emissions amounting to 9.8 million tonnes in 2018, 7% more than in 2017. Its emissions dwarf those of Brussels Airline, for example, which gave off some 780,000 tonnes of CO2 last year.
Belgium’s main emitters are ArcelorMittal in Ghent (4.4 million tonnes), Electrabel’s Knippegroen electricity plant in Ghent (4.6 million tonnes) and the Total refinery in Antwerp (3.6 million tonnes).
In Europe, CO2 emissions have decreased overall by 4.2% but in the air industry they have gone up by 5.7%.
According to T&E, the authorities have not been doing enough to monitor CO2 emissions in the air-transport sector which, moreover, does not pay taxes on its fuel or VAT on its tickets.