New Zealand’s new climate change school curriculum has left meat and dairy farmers fuming

A new curriculum in New Zealand schools that looks to help educate children about climate change has left farmers irritated.

The programme, announced in January, advises them to eat less meat and dairy products.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said at the launch:

“They see the simple fact that every year they have been alive has been one of the hottest on record and they expect us to act.”

The curriculum isn’t compulsory but that hasn’t stopped some farmers being annoyed.

One dairy farmer told the Reuters news agency:

“If they are going to continue to bite the hand that feeds them, and farming feeds New Zealand, then they are going to lose out in the long term.”

Opposition party member Tim van de Molen said he had “no problem with climate change being taught in schools, but those sorts of things [reducing meat and dairy] are very opinionated and don't have a clear scientific basis.”

In 2018, research was done into the impact of animal agriculture on climate change, with The University of Oxford researcher Joseph Poore saying "a vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use."

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