Azara Blog: Has Ryanair cut emissions by half in five years?

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Date published: 2007/01/29

The BBC says:

Ryanair has retracted a claim that it had cut emissions of carbon dioxide by half over the past five years.

The airline's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, has admitted that his statement was "an error".

His comments followed an investigation by BBC Newsnight, which demonstrated that the claim could not be true.

Ryanair had initially threatened the programme with legal action if it aired the report. Ryanair describes itself as Europe's greenest, cleanest airline.

The airline has now conceded its fuel use has increased eight-fold between 1998 and 2006.

Experts says this means Ryanair emissions of carbon dioxide will have also risen eight-fold over the same period.
...
A BBC enquiry demonstrated that the airline had originally planned to make a different claim, that it had cut carbon dioxide emissions by half, per passenger.

The words "per passenger" were subsequently removed by the company.

The BBC is the one taking the piss. Did anyone, hearing the claim, believe that the figure was not "per passenger"? When your passenger numbers and flights have sky-rocketed, as have those of Ryanair, nobody would believe that the total amount of emissions had dropped. And the total is a (largely) misleading number to look at. It is the per passenger (well, per passenger-mile) amount that means something, if you are keeping score in a sensible way. And if that has really dropped by half in five years then that is pretty good. Perhaps the BBC can tell us if this claim is true (or mostly true) or not, instead of wasting time on silly news stories.

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