One in 10 couples who don’t want children cite climate change

Francesca SpecterYahoo Style UK deputy editor
Couples are deciding against having children to protect the planet. [Photo: Getty]
Couples are deciding against having children to protect the planet. [Photo: Getty]

One in 10 young couples deciding against children have done so for climate change reasons.

This is according to a YouGov poll of a group of 334 adults under 35 who had never had children and did not want them in future.

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The main reason among the 18-24 age group was that the cost of having children was too high (23%), while 21% in this group said they would not want the impact children would have on their lifestyle.

READ MORE: Parenting trends predicted to be big in the next decade

A further 14% of this age group said they didn’t want kids because the world has too many people already, while the same answer was responsible for one in seven responses overall.

The birth rate in England and Wales is at a record low. The average number of children born to women was 1.7 last year. This compares to an average of 2.9 in the early 1960s.

One in five women in their early 40s are childless – this is the third highest figures in the developed world.

The environmental impact of having children

Those with an environmental justification for not having children echo the beliefs of environmental groups such as Population Matters and Green Element.

Last year, in an interview published in British Vogue’s September issue, and guest edited by his wife MeghanPrince Harry revealed the couple will have “two children, maximum” in order to help protect the planet.

READ MORE: Paloma Faith is raising her child as gender-neutral, but what does that mean?

William Richardson, founder of Green Element, told Yahoo UK aside from bringing an extra person into the world, having a child impacts you environmentally because of the paraphernalia that you have to buy and the extra “stuff” you need for children.

“Children need nappies, toys and different food,” he explained. “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.”

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