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Ryanair slammed for misleading green claims

EPA-EFE/AIDAN CRAWLEY
A Ryanair Boeing 737 at Dublin Airport, Ireland, 28 September 2017. Ryanair is facing enforcement action from the Civil Aviation Authority, as the no-frills carrier announces a second wave of flight cancellations that will affect 400,000 customers.

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The UK advertising watchdog, The Advertising Standards Authority, censured an ad campaign by the airline Ryanair, in which it claimed it is Europe’s “lowest emissions airline”.
The regulator investigated Ryanair’s ads, after receiving complaints the airline couldn’t back up its claim. It said the ad was “misleading.”
According to environmental campaigners, Ryanair was responsible for 9.9 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018, which puts it in the top 10 of the EU’s biggest polluters.
Ryanair, however, calculated its CO2 emissions on the basis of emissions per passenger-kilometer, putting other factors to its advantage, such as a high number of direct flights, more seats per plane and high fill rate. The ASA said Ryanair should have made clear its claim was based on factors including the extra seats on a Ryanair plane.
Ryanair said that it was “disappointed and surprised” with the ruling, adding that it “fully complied with advertising regulations, engaging with regulators and providing documentation that fulfilled all the substantiations needed”.
“Our CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer is 66 grams, which is 25% lower than the other major European airlines”, a Ryanair spokesperson said.
“Ryanair should stop greenwashing and start doing something to tackle its sky-high emissions”, said Jo Dardenne, aviation manager of the environmental campaign group Transport & Environment.

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