Donations by Ryanair passengers to offset 280,000 tonnes of CO2 has helped distribute of thousands of fuel-efficient cookstoves in Uganda.

The ‘Improved Cookstoves Project’ is funded by travellers using the budget airline through its carbon offset programme,

The airline asks for voluntary donation to its environmental partners at the end of the booking process to offset the carbon cost of flights.

Ryanair is working with First Climate, a developer of emissions reduction projects, on the initiative in the African country where more than 90% of people cook daily over an open fire or on wood/charcoal stoves.

The charcoal/wood that is used releases toxins, smoke and greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane, both of which contribute to climate change.

In addition, 2% of Uganda’s forest cover is lost every year, with fuel wood use being the second biggest driver of deforestation after land-clearing.

Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “We are delighted to see more and more customers contributing with voluntary donations through our carbon offset initiative.

“Projects like First Climate’s ‘Improved Cookstoves’ prove that these donations have significant and tangible results on the environment and societies.”

First Climate CEO Jochen Gassner added: “It is only thanks to voluntary commitment such as Ryanair’s and their passengers’ that projects like the Uganda Improved Cookstoves can be implemented.

“This commitment is an important contribution to climate change mitigation and also helps improve the lives of thousands of local families. We are grateful for the support we receive for the project.”