#NoFutureNoChildren: Addressing Canada's Climate Crisis

No Future No Children, a pledge to have no children until Canadian political leaders address the climate crisis was officially released to the public after a press conference on Monday. The pledge, created by Emma Lim, an 18-year-old climate activist, states signatories will refrain from having children until the government ensures their futures will be safe. Lim, who is a part of Climate Strike Canada, decided not to have children five months after she began striking for climate. 

“I wanted to tell the girl holding my hand that everything was going to be okay, but the only thing I could say was ‘I’m so sorry’ over and over again as she cried,” said Lim recalling when the Ontario legislature denied the motion to declare a climate emergency.

It was in that moment she realized that she could not be a mother as she could not even console the girl beside her, Lim said.

Although Lim has decided not to have children, she explains that she has always wanted them. To her, she said, it no longer feels like a decision. 

“My generation is facing a future of economic instability, food scarcity, extreme weather events and we, the children, are desperate,” Lim said.

In an interview with VICE, Lim said the pledge is both an expression of deep fear and a plea for action. 

In her speach, Lim referenced how many of her relatives are no longer alive because they were vicitims with the Holocaust. She talked about how the Canadian government has now apologized, but apologies do not bring back the dead. 

“I wonder who we will be apologizing to decades from now? Will it be people like my children and grandchildren who are forced to suffer because of government inaction?” Lim asked at the conference.

The first step political leaders can take is to get on track with the Paris climate agreement, Lim said, but added this would only be the start. 

Lim said emissions need to reduce significantly to ensure safety and to provide a source, mentioning a 2019 IPCC report and how it calls for even more drastic measures.

As of Sept. 18, the pledge has over 600 signatures and is quickly gathering followers as youth all over the country are deciding not to have children because of the climate crisis.