Some Young Couples Are Declining To Have Children In Order To Fight Climate Change

More and more young couples, particularly in developed places such as Western Europe and North America, are deciding not to have children, and a significant percentage of those do so because of climate change, Yahoo Style U.K. reports.

How Having Children Impacts The Environment

Every living human contributes in one way or another to the stress on planet Earth. More people consume more resources, contribute more pollution, and leave a larger carbon footprint. So conversely, it stands to reason that fewer humans means less stress on the environment.

And when it comes to reproducing, it's a simple matter of mathematics. If a couple -- assume, for this thought experiment, a heterosexual couple -- has three children, then their little corner of the world is left with one more person consuming those resources. If they have only two, then the scale is balanced, so to speak. And if they have none, then they don't contribute, however indirectly, to climate change once they've left the planet.

Similarly, just being parents means you're putting stress on the planet, says William Richardson, founder of Green Element.

"Children need [diapers], toys and different food. If you have more than two kids then maybe you will need a new vehicle. Life becomes more complicated and with that complication comes more choice with an environmental knock on effect."

two young children
Pixabay | sathyatripodi

Of the couples surveyed who declined to have kids, one in 10 said that they were doing so to fight climate change.

It's a concept that none other than Prince Harry has taken to heart. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, earlier this year the Duke of Sussex spoke to primate researcher Jane Goodall for the British edition of Vogue, with his wife Meghan as guest editor, and spoke about the impact of having more children on the world's climate. Harry said that he intended to have no more than two kids for this reason.

Other Reasons Couples Aren't Having Children

Fighting climate change wasn't the only reason young couples said they weren't having children. Some said that there were "too many people" already. Others cited the high cost of raising kids. Others said they didn't want to give up their current lifestyle.

Declining Birth Rates

In both the United States and the United Kingdom, the birth rate has been dropping for decades. In both countries, the birth rate is around 1.7-1.8 births per woman, down from 2.9 in the U.K. and around 3.9 in the U.S. 50 years ago.