New Zealand is starting a new climate change curriculum that teaches students to avoid consuming dairy and meat. This is at odds with the country’s export economy, where 60% accounts for agriculture.
Farmers feel targeted by the curriculum, which was developed to help reduce carbon emissions. New Zealand currently has a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. “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,” dairy farmer Malcolm Lumsden told Reuters. Agriculture is a significant contibutor to greenhouse gas emissions.
New Zealand’s dairy and meat exports have grown over the past 10 years, especially to places like China. The government has spoken out to try to refine the message. Tim van de Molen, a member of New Zealand’s parliament said, “What we are seeing currently [with] proposals that people should be looking to have Meatless Mondays, or that dairy farming is terrible for the climate, [are that] those sorts of things are very opinionated and don’t have a clear scientific basis. It’s clear that farming has an impact on the climate, [but] so does everything, and we need to be very clear [about that].”
The curriculum will be focused more on what children can be doing to help stop climate change, as they are worried about climate change affecting their lives, said the coalition government. Schools in Italy also recently developed a curriculum around climate change for students.
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