#NoFutureNoChildren: Teens are pledging not to have kids until the government acts against climate change

Thousands of teenagers are pledging not to have children until their governments take greater steps to combat climate change. 

The promise is part of #NoFutureNoChildren, a movement started by Emma Lim, an 18-year-old student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Lim's pledge, which has attracted teenagers from throughout the U.S. and Canada, is to forgo starting a family until more action is taken against global warming. 

"People joining the pledge are giving up parenthood, which is supposed to be one of the most important things to us," Lim told Vice Canada. “This will show how serious we are about this and how grave this issue is."

Lim said the idea for her movement began in May while she watched the legislative assembly in her home province of Ontario, debate climate change solutions. She quickly became disenchanted, feeling that government officials were not doing as much as they should. 

After talking with friends for several months, the 18-year-old officially launched #NoFutureNoChildren last Monday with a "climate strike" at Canada's Parliament Hill. And Lim's pledge has only gained momentum since then: As of Tuesday morning, more than 3,200 people have signed on. 

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Climate change protest marches around the world
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Climate change protest marches around the world
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Student demonstrators and thousands of environmentalist gather on a demonstration during Climate Strike to draw the attention of global warming and climate change, in Melbourne, Australia on September 20, 2019. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: School students throw up an inflatable globe during a Climate strike rally on September 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Rallies held across Australia are part of a global mass day of action demanding action on the climate crisis. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Thousands of school students participate in a Climate strike rally on September 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Rallies held across Australia are part of a global mass day of action demanding action on the climate crisis. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Thousands of school students participate in a Climate strike rally on September 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Rallies held across Australia are part of a global mass day of action demanding action on the climate crisis. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Student demonstrators and thousands of environmentalist gather on a demonstration during Climate Strike to draw the attention of global warming and climate change, in Melbourne, Australia on September 20, 2019. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Student demonstrators and thousands of environmentalist gather on a demonstration during Climate Strike to draw the attention of global warming and climate change, in Melbourne, Australia on September 20, 2019. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators take part in a Global Climate Strike on 20 September, 2019 in London, England, to draw international attention to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Millions of people are expected to take to the streets in over 4,000 locations in more than 130 countries across the world during a week-long mobilisation. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators take part in a Global Climate Strike on 20 September, 2019 in London, England, to draw international attention to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Millions of people are expected to take to the streets in over 4,000 locations in more than 130 countries across the world during a week-long mobilisation. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators take part in a Global Climate Strike on 20 September, 2019 in London, England, to draw international attention to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Millions of people are expected to take to the streets in over 4,000 locations in more than 130 countries across the world during a week-long mobilisation. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators take part in a Global Climate Strike on 20 September, 2019 in London, England, to draw international attention to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Millions of people are expected to take to the streets in over 4,000 locations in more than 130 countries across the world during a week-long mobilisation. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: Activist Greta Thunberg leads the Youth Climate Strike in an effort to promote awareness and change to current global enviornmental policies on September 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Activists attend a rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. In what could be the largest climate protest in history and inspired by the teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, people around the world are taking to the streets to demand action to combat climate change. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Activists attend a rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. In what could be the largest climate protest in history and inspired by the teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, people around the world are taking to the streets to demand action to combat climate change. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Young activists from the Amazon attend a rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. In what could be the largest climate protest in history and inspired by the teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, people around the world are taking to the streets to demand action to combat climate change. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Activists attend a rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. In what could be the largest climate protest in history and inspired by the teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, people around the world are taking to the streets to demand action to combat climate change. (Photo by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Getty Images)
School students and protesters gather for a climate strike march on September 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Fridays for Future global strike attracted hundreds of thousands of school students and adult protesters to march on the streets of Berlin to demand action on climate change. Similar protest took place in most major cities around the globe. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Participants in the Fridays For Future movement protest during a nationwide climate change action day in front of the Brandenburg Gate on September 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Fridays for Future protests and strikes are registered today in over 400 cities across Germany. The activists are demanding that the German government and corporations take a fast-track policy route towards lowering CO2 emissions and combating the warming of the Earth's temperatures. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Participants in the Fridays For Future movement protest during a nationwide climate change action day in front of the Brandenburg Gate on September 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Fridays for Future protests and strikes are registered today in over 400 cities across Germany. The activists are demanding that the German government and corporations take a fast-track policy route towards lowering CO2 emissions and combating the warming of the Earth's temperatures. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
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The online pledge simply asks participants for their name, age and an explanation of why they're making the decision to hold off on having children.

For Lim, the decision was part of a desire to create a better world for future generations. 

"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?" Lim writes on the homepage of her website

Lim said her parents were some of the first people to respond to her decision, telling Vice Canada she saw "massive changes" in them when they heard she was waiting to have children.

"For the first time, the impact of climate change became real to them," she said. "You read about hurricane stories and heat waves, but the massive, most catastrophic events haven’t touched us yet in Canada. There’s flooding but it hasn’t really affected my immediate family. But this hurts; this is something tangible."

The #NoFutureNoChildren movement comes during a month full of youth-led climate activism throughout the world.

Last Friday, as many as 4 million people — many of them children and students — joined in a worldwide "climate strike." The event comprised more than 2,500 separate rallies and was likely the largest single climate protest ever.

Just days later, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered an impassioned speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, condemning world leaders for placing the burden of global warming on her generation. 

"I shouldn't be up here. I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean," the Swedish activist said Monday. "Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."

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