A Brussels-based think tank has cited the ranking in calling for the inclusion of shipping in the EU’s carbon market ahead of a vote on the matter in the European Parliament on Monday.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has risen above Ryanair and two power plants in a ranking of the EU's biggest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters in 2019.
MSC is now in 7th position and Ryanair in 8th on the top 10 list, which is based on European Union data.
Six German plants and two Polish plants fill the eight remaining spaces.
The ranking was put together by think tank Transport & Environment (T&E) and estimated that MSC produced 10.72 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019, while Ryanair emitted an estimated 10.53 million tonnes.
MSC and Ryanair both release less CO2 than the largest coal-fired power plants in the list.
The think tank endorsed the inclusion of shipping in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) ahead of a vote on the matter in the European Parliament on Monday.
By making power plants, factories and airlines pay for their pollution, the ETS aims to reduce CO2 emissions.
"Power and other sectors are cutting their emissions year in year out in response to EU regulations, but shipping pollution is left untouched," said Faïg Abbasov, shipping manager at T&E.
Abbasov called on MEPs to vote for a system that "finally makes ships pay for their emissions and re-invests the money in cleaner boats".
However, even if forced to pay for emissions by EU pollution permits, T&E said shipping firms in the bloc would still pay seven times less than trucks, which have higher fuel taxes.
The think tank said the inclusion of shipping in the ETS would need to be complemented with CO2 standards that ultimately ensure shipping’s decarbonisation by 2050.
Euronews has contacted MSC and Ryanair for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.