A 17-year-old girl from Victoria has joined hundreds across the world in taking a pledge not to have children until the government takes steps to counter the climate crisis.
On Monday, Emma-Jane Burian announced her intentions to take the No Future Pledge, joining an international movement that aims to instigate serious action against climate change from governments around the world.
The No Future No Children movement was created by 18-year-old McGill University student, Emma Lim, who says she has always wanted to be a mother.
“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?” Lim writes on the pledge website.
In 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report stating that the world has 12 years to stop a devastating 1.5°C increase in global temperatures.
Such a large increase will result in unprecedented shifts in climate, causing increased food insecurity, heat waves, air pollution, economic collapse, and mass migration.
This report and others like it led to a surge in climate change activism particularly from youth around the world, notably 16-year-old Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg who spearheaded the first climate change-related walkouts in front of Sweden’s parliament every Friday.
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
In Victoria, Burian has played a key role in organizing climate inaction strikes at the BC Legislature every Friday this year.
She was one of the main forces behind the Victoria iteration of the National Youth Climate Strike on May 3rd which saw approximately 300 students march down Government Street, demanding climate action from the provincial and federal government, including:
- Bold Emissions Reductions Targets
- Separation of Oil and State
- A Just Transition
- Environmental rights
- Indigenous rights
- Conservation of Biodiversity
- Protection for Vulnerable Groups
“As a 17-year-old, I should not have to worry about having or not having children, yet it has become my responsibility because the adults are not adulting, when in fact this crisis is our responsibility,” Burian said in a statement on Monday.
As of the time of publication, over 617 people have taken the No Future pledge, which states:
“I pledge to not have children until I am sure my government will ensure a safe future for them.”