InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
Republic of Ireland
Official Web Site:

Climate Policy Engagement Overview: Ryanair appears to be actively engaged on climate-related policy in Europe, with mixed to negative engagement in 2020-22. Ryanair appears opposed to numerous strands of climate-related regulation for aviation in Europe, including ticket and kerosene taxes, however in 2021-22 Ryanair appears to support an extension of the EU ETS and SAF mandate to long-haul flights.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Ryanair appears to have mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. Ryanair's CEO, Michael O'Leary, appeared to advocate for the EU to expand Fit for 55 climate regulations to cover international flights at the November 2021 Eurocontrol Summit and Ryanair’s summer 2022 in-flight magazine further supported the goals of the Paris Agreement and a carbon-neutral EU aviation sector by 2050. In contrast, Ryanair’s 2021 Sustainability Report appeared to emphasize cost and competitiveness concerns in the EU’s Fit for 55 package. Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary also appeared to suggest that oil inflation made the Fit for 55 package redundant as “we need no better incentive (to reduce fuel consumption) than oil at 120 dollars a barrel” in comments at a March 2022 A4E Aviation Summit. Furthermore, in a February 2021 response to an EU consultation, Ryanair appeared to leverage its support for global regulations to oppose more stringent regional EU measures.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Ryanair appears to have mixed engagement with European climate regulation for aviation. In a 2021 EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) consultation response, Ryanair seemed unsupportive of reducing aviation’s free emissions allowances. However, in a November 2021 interview with Eurocontrol, Ryanair's CEO appeared to support an extension to cover all international (EU to/from non-EU) flights, while criticizing the costs imposed for intra-EU flights. Similarly, in February 2022, Ryanair signed a joint statement supporting expanding the scope of the EU ETS to include flights to non-EEA destinations. In a June 2022 press release, Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary, further supported the expansion to flights departing the EEA as proposed by EU Parliament, and called on EU member states to “vote and finally require high fare flag carries…to pay their fair share of ETS taxes”. In June 2022, Ryanair also commissioned a report which highlighted the additional emissions reductions from expanding EU regulations to extra-EEA flights and CEO, Michael O’Leary strongly criticized those opposing the inclusion of extra-EEA flights in the EU ETS, according to a Politico report.

In 2021-22, Ryanair appears supportive of a full scope EU sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandate. In March 2021, Ryanair signed a joint letter to policymakers that opposed excluding long-haul flights from an EU SAF mandate. Similarly, in a February 2022 joint statement, Ryanair appeared to state clear support for an EU SAF mandate, and advocated for a full scope that included all departing EU flights, including long-haul journeys. In another joint statement signed in February 2022, Ryanair advocated for more ambition in the "scale and timing" of sub-targets for e-kerosene. Additionally, Ryanair’s response to an EU public consultation on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) in February 2021 stated “dedicated EU industrial policy…as foreseen under the planned ReFuel EU Aviation initiative is urgently needed.” This response also appeared supportive of increased transport-specific energy targets for 2030 under RED, however, Ryanair also seemed to advocate for a technology-neutral approach.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Ryanair appear strongly and negatively engaged with measures to transition aviation’s energy mix in 2021-22. The company’s 2021 financial results, published in July 2021, stated “Ryanair is fundamentally opposed to the introduction of additional aviation taxes, including new environmental taxes, fuel taxes or emissions levies”, while describing minimum airline ticket prices as “incompatible with EU law”. In a March 2021 testimony to the UK government, and during a June 2021 meeting with the Transport Committee, Ryanair’s CEO also appeared to use the COVID-19 pandemic to support suspending the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax. In a June 2021 UK consultation response, Ryanair further appeared to advocate for the abolition of the APD. More positively, a February 2022 Twitter post from Ryanair advocated for the Belgium government to include all short-haul flights in its ticket tax, including transfer flights.

Regarding a kerosene tax, a November 2021 Ryanair EU consultation response appeared to directly oppose an intra-EU kerosene tax. However, at the November 2021 Eurocontrol Summit O’Leary appeared to support an EU jet fuel tax that applied to all international flights within the EU with the major exception that other EU climate regulations are then revoked. Additionally, Ryanair appeared unsupportive of a French ban on short-haul flights in its 2021 financial results, published in July 2021.

Industry Association Governance: Ryanair has disclosed a list of its memberships to some industry associations within its 2021 annual report, but has not provided further details on the associations' climate policy positions, their alignment or their role within each association. It has not published a review of its industry associations or disclosed its memberships in it’s 2021 CDP response. Ryanair is a member of Airlines for Europe, which has actively advocated against key strands of ambitious EU climate policy for aviation in 2020-22.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.