Yes, it’s those plonkers again…
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been lauded for their role in helping influence a growing number of young couples to limit the number of children they have for the sake of the environment.
New research shows that almost a third of young adults want to have fewer or no children because of their fears about the future of the planet.
Prince Harry cited environmental concerns when he revealed in 2019 that he and Meghan planned to limit their children to “two, maximum”. Their daughter Lilibet — younger sister to Archie — was born in June.
Robin Maynard, director of Population Matters, a British charity that aims to end population growth, said: “Harry and Meghan’s announcement in 2019 was a real turning point for anyone keen to create a more sustainable future for us.”
He added: “It’s an incredibly responsible and powerful choice that Harry and Meghan have made, because choosing to have a maximum of two children — particularly in rich developed economies such as the US and UK — is the most effective eco-action you can take.” [J4MB: Through this questionable lens, wouldn’t having NO children be “the most effective eco-action you could take”?]
His comments come days after the couple’s former chief of staff, Catherine St-Laurent, said in an interview that the Sussexes aspire to become global influencers. She said: “I think they have the potential to be very influential leaders in the social impact space.”
The duchess is working with Sir Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, as executive producer on an animated series for Netflix, Pearl, about a “12-year-old heroine who finds inspiration in influential women from history”, it was announced this week.
A poll for Population Matters found that 32 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds say concerns about the environmental effects of having children make them want to have fewer children or no children at all. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, this view is held by 22 per cent.
The Yonder poll of UK adults found that about one in six people between 18 and 35 do not want children at all (15 per cent), while six out of 10 wanted two children or fewer. Just over a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) wanted three or more children, with 3 per cent wanting five or more. Some 37 per cent of those polled wanted two; 7 per cent saying they wanted just one child; 18 per cent no children. This amounts to 62 per cent seeking a family below the “replacement rate” of 2.1, at which population is stable.
Maynard added: “As Prince Harry recognises, we’re out of harmony with the environment we live in, which is the planet Earth, the only home we’ve got. [J4MB emphasis: What an insightful and original observation.] Having a smaller family is a positive choice we can make for future generations and it’s really inspiring to see this discussion opening up, and people with the profile and voice of the Sussexes leading that conversation.
“Millennials and Gen-Zers are more switched on to the power of smaller families than generations before them ever were. This gives me immense hope for the future.”
A 2017 study concluded that by far the single most effective measure an individual in the developed world could take to cut their carbon emissions over the long term would be to have one fewer child. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden suggested that this action could reduce emissions by as much as 20 times more than any other action that it evaluated, including plant-based diets, being car-free and reducing flying.
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