Teens Are Pledging To Not Have Kids Until The Government Takes Action On Climate Change

by Christina Marfice

#NoFutureNoChildren movement has teens saying they won’t have kids until world governments take serious action on climate change

Faced with a grim future, teens in the U.S. and Canada are joining a new movement that has them pledging not to have kids until world governments start taking serious action to curb climate change. They’re tweeting their support for the movement using the hashtag #NoFutureNoChildren and talking about the dangers of bringing children into a world that’s warmed even more than this one.

“I have always, always wanted to be a mom, for as long as I can remember,” Emma Lin, the 18-year-old Montreal student who started the movement told Insider. “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.”

That’s a reference to a series of United Nations reports that have warned of absolutely catastrophic consequences if the world is allowed to warm 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. It’s already warmed 1 degree. At 1 degree, we’re already experiencing one global climate disaster each week. If the world continues to get warmer, things will get even worse than that, and it’s only future generations who will pay the price.

Lin told reporters that for her and her peers, climate change is just a “fact of life.”

“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,” she said. “But that trust in your leaders erodes over time.”

She continued, “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.”

Lin’s pledge follows a trend that we’re already seeing in action, as millennials are delaying having kids until much later in life than previous generations, if not forgoing having them at all. According to Pew research, only 48 percent of millennial women were mothers in 2016, compared to 57 percent of Gen X women and 58 percent of boomer women at the same age. While a lot of millennials’ decisions have to do with financial insecurity that’s lingered since they began their careers during the Great Recession, surveys show they’re definitely taking world issues into account, too. An Insider survey found that 38 percent of young adults in the U.S. think climate change should be a factor when a couple decides whether to have children.

The reality is that we are not on track to leave a safe, stable, habitable for our children or our children’s children. They see that and are taking action the only way they can right now. It’s up to governments to rise to the challenge and create climate change policy that will actually save the world for future generations.