Michael O’Leary says he ‘does not accept climate change is real’

Ryanair chief says he thinks Brexit means ‘UK are going to walk themselves off the cliff’

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said he “does not accept climate change is real”.

“I don’t accept the connection between carbon consumption and climate change. People use very short-term weather analysis to justify climate change was happening,” he told RTÉ Radio 1’s Countrywide programme.

Mr O’Leary said nuclear power needs to be considered as a future energy source.

“If you ask the climate justice mob and Mary Robinson what they think of nuclear power, they recoil in horror,” he said. “I’d always be wary of these people who are very extreme in their views and saying the end of the world is nigh. I think the human race will continue. The obvious challenge for the human race is that the population is exploding.”


“This kind of nonsense that we all need to cut back on beef production or that we all need to eat vegetables or go vegan and all start cycling bicycles is not the way forward. I think it’s complete and utter rubbish. You had these people standing round the market square 2,000 years ago saying the end of the world is nigh. In the 19th century in London, they thought they were all going to die from smog. There is always some lunatic out there who points to a load of rubbish science; science changes.”

Mr O’Leary also said he was concerned about the impact of Brexit.

“I’m very worried about Brexit. I think everyone should be worried. I think the UK are going to walk themselves off the cliff. I don’t think they have any idea of how difficult the discussions with the Europeans are going to be.

“I hope in 12-18 months, when they realise they have walked themselves off a cliff, they might change their mind and stay in the European Union. It makes no sense to leave the biggest free trading bloc in the world.”

“There is very little sense among the UK political class and they need a dose of reality.Unless the Europeans make it difficult to leave Europe, everyone else is going to try and leave too.”

Mr O’Leary also said Brexit has already begun to affect how much it invests in the UK aviation market.

“If Brexit goes ahead we will invest less in the UK. This year we have based no new aircrafts in the UK and we have cut our growth rate in the UK from 12 per cent to 4 per cent.”