The 2-page handout

The reading

New Zealand is thinking about introducing a new tax to help the environment. It wants farmers to pay tax on the numbers of farm animals they have. Sheep, cows and other livestock create a lot of methane. This is one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. It is a big cause of climate change. Animals release methane every time they burp or fart. The "burp tax" would take effect in 2025. New Zealand has over 20,000 farms. There are around 26 million sheep, 4 million cows and other animals in the country. James Shaw, New Zealand's climate change minister, said: "There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere."

Farming animals accounts for around 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gasses. This comes from animals burping and farting, animal waste, clearing land for animals and transporting animals. Mr Shaw wants farming to be more environmentally friendly. Farmers will have to pay a kind of tax for the methane their animals produce. Shaw also wants farmers to change the way they farm. He wants them to feed their animals on seaweed instead of grass. This will produce fewer emissions. Mr Shaw also said farmers can reduce the tax they pay by planting more trees. Another suggestion is for cows to wear special masks. New Zealand's farmers support the government. They want to do their bit to help the environment.



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