Investors are put off by ethical investment rules, warns O'Leary. Photo: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters
Ryanair CEO Michael O' Leary praised Rishi Sunak for relaxing the UK's “unrealistic” net zero targets and criticized the City's “frankly crazy” approach to ethical investment.
An outspoken airline executive has spoken out about the Prime Minister's decision to take a stand against environmental issues. the promises were an “inevitable and practical answer” to the UK's economic problems.
He highlighted the decision to bring forward a ban on the sale of new petrol cars from 2030 to 2035.
Mr O' ;Leary told The Telegraph: “I think banning or outlawing petrol or diesel cars in just seven years is unrealistic.
“There is no doubt that the entire car fleet is moving to electric. But you will not achieve this in some artificial time frame in the next seven years.
“You can't tell people they can't buy petrol cars because they'll just ignore you.
Mr Sunak announced the delay as part of a package of measures aimed at sparing the public what he called the “unacceptable” costs of net zero.
The decision sparked a backlash from the energy and car industries, who said the move undermined the case for investment in the UK.
However, Mr O'Leary spoke out in support of the Prime Minister. He said: “Frankly, Rishi Sunak is having to deal with huge economic problems that were bequeathed to him by his two immediate idiot predecessors.”
“He has been dealt a very weak hand which he is trying to solve. do our best to govern.”
The Irishman said green policies should also not come before profits in the business world.
0907 net zero cost
He said: “I think there has been a proper re-evaluation of the whole ESG agenda, which I think is frankly crazy.”
“I think the market has over-prioritised. ESG. That's a very important element and I think we all need to improve our ESG commitments, but not at the expense of profitability.”
He said Ryanair was being shunned by investors who “love the business and want to invest ”, but cannot do so due to strict ethical investment rules.
“ESG plays an important role. But this is a secondary role in running a good and profitable business, which will ultimately help increase profits.”
The comments come weeks after climate change activists attacked the Ryanair chief with cream pies.
Earlier this month, Mr O'Leary was ambushed by environmentalists during a visit to Brussels, who hit him with pies and shouted: “Stop polluting ******* planes.”