Boris Johnson could face 'problems' with Biden warns insider
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is currently in consultation on whether the UK should cut APD for internal flights to encourage people to return to the air. The decision may cause disagreements with US President Joe Biden who has signed executive orders to tackle climate change in the US and has deemed it a “national security concern”. The UK is also set to host the UN Climate Change Conference in November which may raise eyebrows among attendees of the legitimacy of Britain’s commitment to tackling global warming.
Sky News political correspondent Joe Pike discussed the plans and said: “This issue of APD, Air Passenger Duty…Boris Johnson wants to focus on climate change this year.
“Not just because of this Cop, Climate Conference in Glasgow, but also climate change is key to his relationship with Joe Biden.
“It doesn’t look like Grant Shapps is going to stop with this proposal on cutting this tax on aviation.
“But it could be pretty controversial and could cause problems for him and Boris Johnson.”
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Joe Biden signed several executive orders within his first days of being president to reverse the decisions left behind by his predecessor Donald Trump.
The US President also rejoined the Paris climate change agreement soon after he was put in office.
President Biden sent former Secretary of State John Kerry to the UK ahead of the Cop conference which takes place later this year.
Mr Kerry is visiting European countries to broadcast America’s desire to unite against climate change.
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APD is charged on flyers and the cost is dependent on the amount of mile travelled.
The tax aims to encourage flyers to look at other forms of transport and airlines have long lobbied against it.
APD was raised by £2 in the March Budget for long-haul fights to £84 per person.
The tax was frozen for short-haul flights which include domestic flights and has remained the same since 2012.
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The APD charge is split into two bands where short and long-haul flights are determined whether they are above or below a 2,000-mile threshold.
While airline bosses welcome the freeze and potential cut in APD, environmental groups warn it will be tough for the UK to meet its net-zero carbon pledge for 2050 if more planes are in the sky.
It comes as Boris Johnson will give £20million to upgrade rail links across the country.
He said: “Harnessing the incredible power of infrastructure to level up parts of our country that have too long been left off the transport map.
“This pioneering review by Sir Peter Hendy gives us the tools we need to deliver on our ambitions for a UK-wide transport network that encompasses sea, rail, and road.”
An interim report published on Wednesday also looked into the viability of building a tunnel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
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