- Montreal student Emma Lim is encouraging students to take a pledge to not have children unless governments act on climate change.
- We spoke with Lim about the initiative and her fear for the future.
Hundreds of climate activists are following in the footsteps of 18-year old Emma Lim, a McGill student and organizer of Climate Strike Canada who just pledged to never have children until the government takes action on climate change.
Lim claims that governments aren't doing nearly enough to fight against climate change. Out of fear for children's futures, she refuses to have children. More than 600 young Canadians have already signed her pledge and the #NoFutureNoChildren is heating up on social media.
She launched her petition on Parliament Hill Monday afternoon. Young people across the country are signing the pledge and asserting their position on climate change.
On her website, Lim writes that "I am giving up my chance of having a family because I will only have children if I know I can keep them safe. It breaks my heart, but I created this pledge because I know I am not alone. I am not the only young person giving up lifelong dreams because they are unsure of what the future will hold. We’ve read the science, and now we’re pleading with our government."
We spoke with Emma Lim to find out more about her movement and her reasoning behind #NoFutureNoChildren.
"Early this year, I read the IPCC report for the first time and it really scared me. I didn't know how bad it was and how little our leaders are doing," says Lim.
"Recently, I was in the Ontario Legislature with other student strikers, pushing the Ontario government to declare a climate emergency. There was a debate and we sat there for hours listening. Right after, the Tories came in a voted the motion down without even listening to the science that was discussed for hours. It was so upsetting to see how little our leaders care about this."
These young Canadians are protesting what they believe to be the biggest existential threat facing this generation and this movement seen much support.
On her website, Lim acknowledges that she never wanted to do this and wants to be a mother. "Because even though I want to have children more than almost anything, what kind of a mother would I be if I brought a baby into a world where I couldn’t make sure they were safe?"
She tells MTL Blog that, "I don't want to bring a child into the world facing this climate crisis. 2030 is our benchmark and that would be around the time I'd want children. The idea of a child growing up in a world of food scarcity, water scarcity, with no clean air, and unprecedented weather events is terrifying."
Lim has seen an outpouring of support. Though most supported by young people, Canadians from all walks of life have signed the pledge.
"I've never really been an activist. I'm a science person and I was reading the science and it was terrifying. So I thought the least I could do is sit outside City Hall and tell people what was happening."
Lim has seen as much hate as she has support, however. Already, the young woman has seen the backlash from people who are calling her a "climate alarmist."
"All I have to say to those people is to read the science. I'm not a climate alarmist. Just read the science. This is not fringe science, it's the intergovernmental panel on the climate and studies are put out by the world's top climate scientists," says Lim.
On her website, Lim writes that "I’m only a teenager, so I’ve learned about climate change for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen it all around me too. In my province once in a century floods have started to happen every year. There are heatwaves in the summer, and in the winter we’re not able to skate on the pond anymore."
"If you don't want to listen to world-renowned climate scientists, you don't have to," she says.
"But if you don't want to listen to climate scientists, then why should I care what you have to say?"
"I study biomedical science. I'm someone who is educated on climate science and understands the danger we're facing. That's why I'm so angry and scare because I understand what's happening and it's not good," says Lim.