A movement titled #NoFutureNoChildren has teens pledging not to have kids until governments take climate change seriously.
Stories of climate change-related disasters and global impacts are a common occurrence nowadays and while a number of officials across the globe have taken some steps towards resolving the issue not enough is being done.
Emma Lim, an 18-year-old student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, recently launched the eye-opening movement in an attempt to make governments understand how climate change affects young people.
Things really hit home for the creator in May, when she watched the Ontario Legislative Assembly’s climate debate.
Speaking about how her views have changed, she told Business Insider:
When you’re young you believe that your government will fix things, and so I joined the green team and we worked on recycling and I figured that everything would be okay.
But that trust in your leaders erodes over time.
Young People across Canada are pledging not to have children out of fear for their futures. @Canada_Strike Emma Lim @e_mareil created the pledge to be both an expression of fear and a plea for action. Learn more: https://t.co/0JjCfJK8fl #NoFutureNoChildren pic.twitter.com/pPpYT7nz5B
— Emma Lim (@_emareil) September 16, 2019
Lim determined government officials weren’t taking enough action and she spoke about the issue with her friends, who admitted they too are losing hope. Though the 18-year-old has always dreamed of having kids, she realised they’d be fighting a losing battle if things carry on as they are.
The #NoFutureNoChildren pledge reads ‘I pledge not to have children until I am sure my government will ensure a safe future for them’.
Speaking further about the movement, Lim said:
I launched the pledge because I wanted other people to understand how the fear of climate is so unquestioned in my generation.
It’s something everybody feels. Where in my parent’s or grandparent’s generation, believing in climate change is often a matter of opinion and not survival.
The #NoFutureNoChildren pledge has officially been released! The pledge was created for youth to assert their intent to not have children unless urgent and serious action is taken against the climate crisis. Sign the pledge today! https://t.co/Y1Z4e8rC7h pic.twitter.com/MxI6E4qJeb
— Sophie Price (@SophieP68428803) September 16, 2019
The student continued:
I have always, always wanted to be a mom, for as long as I can remember.
But I will not bring a child into a world where they will not be safe. I would like to see the government develop a comprehensive plan to stay below 1.5 degrees [Celsius] of warming.
Her idea of a ‘comprehensive plan’ refers to a 2018 United Nations report which stated the Earth has warmed one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 19th century.
Lim also wants governments to develop a plan to help people who will be affected by climate change, including displaced people and those losing work in industries like agriculture, fishing, oil and gas.
The UN report goes on to look at the consequences of if the Earth were to warm more than 1.5°C – global sea level rise would be 10cm lower by 2100 compared with 2°C.
Another statistic estimates coral reefs would virtually all be lost if the temperature were to rise by 2°C, while at 1.5°C they would likely decline by 70-90 per cent. Though the impact is not as drastic, the 1.5°C increase would still have a huge impact on the environment.
The landmark Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015 by 195 nations, included the aim of ‘holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels’.
Hey NZ govt. just letting u know that I ain’t bringing nothin to this earth side + a bunch of other ppl reckon the same aye #nofuturenochildren
— mad dawg (@madieesmith1) September 19, 2019
According to the UN, in a statement released after the 2018 report, UN chief António Guterres said limiting global warming to 1.5°C ‘will take unprecedented changes in all aspects of society – especially in key sectors such as land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities’.
The #NoFutureNoChildren movement kicked off on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday (September 16) and in the following days 985 people have taken the pledge, while hundreds more have started sharing the hashtag on Twitter.
#nofuturenochildren has to be the greatest movement i’ve seen in a minute. shout out to these folks that are using strong statements to bring in a much needed movement to save the planet! we can’t have kids in a world that is becoming more and more unfit to have them.
— Epiphany 🌸 (@spaceiphany) September 18, 2019
According to a study conducted by Business Insider, there are a lot of people out there who have a similar opinion to Lim when it comes to thinking about future generations. In a survey taken in March, 38 per cent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 agreed climate change should be a factor in a couple’s decision about whether to have children.
Though drastic, #NoFutureNoChildren is clearly a necessary movement to make governments recognise the massive impacts inaction could have on future generations.
If you want to take the pledge, you can do so here.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.