COP26: Liz Truss says Brits should KEEP flying

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says Brits should KEEP flying because greener planes can cut carbon emissions – and dismisses idea of ‘meat tax’ saying government should use ‘carrot not stick’

  • Liz Truss said she would not support a meat tax in fight against climate change
  • Said she favours ‘carrot’ rather than the ‘stick’ in changing people’s behaviour 
  • Also said people can keep flying because technology will make aviation green 
  • Foreign Secretary made remarks as the COP26 climate summit got underway 


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Liz Truss today insisted Brits do not need to stop flying because of climate change as she also rejected the idea of imposing a meat tax to cut harmful emissions. 

The Foreign Secretary said ‘the way to reduce climate emissions from flying isn’t to stop flying’ but to develop new technology to make aviation greener.

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She said she would not support rolling out a meat tax, arguing that the Government should use the ‘carrot’ rather than the ‘stick’ to change people’s behaviour. 

Ms Truss made the remarks in Glasgow as world leaders meet at the COP26 climate change summit. 

The aim of the UN gathering is to persuade countries around the world to agree action to restrict global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.    

The Foreign Secretary said 'the way to reduce climate emissions from flying isn’t to stop flying' but to develop new technology to make aviation greener

The Foreign Secretary said ‘the way to reduce climate emissions from flying isn’t to stop flying’ but to develop new technology to make aviation greener

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According to reports, the Government is already working on a new tax system for parts of the food sector that contribute most to global warming.

Environment Secretary George Eustice has previously signalled his support for a new levy on meat and dairy.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, has backed the idea of telling people to eat less meat, arguing that ‘reducing a little bit can make a difference’.

But the plans have prompted a Cabinet row, with Alok Sharma and Rishi Sunak having both rejected the idea of instructing people to change their diet.           

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Asked if she would support a meat tax, Ms Truss told Sky News: ‘I wouldn’t support a meat tax. I think we need to see farming and farmers are doing a fantastic job about becoming more climate friendly in the work that they do.

‘But I think it is really important that we support our fantastic British farming industry and I think it is important that rather than using the stick to encourage people to become more climate friendly, we use the carrot, if that is not mixing metaphors with meat, we actually make a climate friendly life style more affordable for people.

‘Whether that’s an electric car becoming more affordable, whether it is technology like heat pumps becoming more affordable.

‘And also it is about making a lot of those industries, whether it is aerospace or farming, more climate friendly.

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‘So we are looking to do a jet zero plane so that we can achieve our goals for the climate but carry on travelling at the same time.’

The Government has been criticised by climate change campaigners for announcing a cut to domestic air passenger duty at last week’s Budget. 

Critics claimed the decision to make it cheaper to fly in the UK sent the wrong message ahead of the COP26 summit. 

Ms Truss said she would not support rolling out a meat tax, arguing that the Government should use the 'carrot' rather than the 'stick' to change people's behaviour

Ms Truss said she would not support rolling out a meat tax, arguing that the Government should use the ‘carrot’ rather than the ‘stick’ to change people’s behaviour

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But Ms Truss defended the move as she said the fight against climate change should not mean people flying less. 

Ms Truss said: ‘This is all about connectivity across the United Kingdom and making it easier for people to travel.

‘But the way to reduce climate emissions from flying isn’t to stop flying, it is to create the new generation of next technology which we are doing.

‘Whether that is using hydrogen, whether that is using electric power to power planes, that is the way of the future.’

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