The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a short film launched Wednesday as the centrepiece of the agency's new "Don't Choose Extinction" campaign displayed a talking dinosaur to the UN headquarters to urge more climate action from global leaders.
Bursting into the iconic General Assembly Hall, famous for history-making speeches by leaders from around the world, the imposing dinosaur told the diplomats and dignitaries that "it's time humans stopped making excuses and started making changes."
This first-ever film to be made inside the UN General Assembly using computer-generated imagery (CGI) features global celebrities voicing the dinosaur in numerous languages, including actors Eiza González (Spanish), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish), and Aïssa Maïga (French).
"At least we had an asteroid," the dinosaur warned, referring to the popular theory explaining dinosaurs' extinction 70 million years ago. "What's your excuse?"
The dinosaur went on to highlight how financial support for fossil fuels through subsidies - taxpayers' money that helps keep the cost of coal, oil and gas low for consumers - is irrational and illogical in the face of a changing climate, reads a press release from UNDP.
"Think of all the other things you could do with that money. Around the world, people are living in poverty. Don't you think that helping them would make more sense than… paying for the demise of your entire species?" the dinosaur said.
"The film is fun and engaging, but the issues it speaks to could not be more serious," said Ulrika Modéer, Head of UNDP's Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy.
"The UN Secretary-General has called the climate crisis a 'code red for humanity.' We want the film to entertain, but we also want to raise awareness of just how critical the situation is. The world must step up on climate action if we are to succeed in keeping our planet safe for future generations," she said.
UNDP's "Don't Choose Extinction" campaign and film aim to shine a spotlight on fossil fuel subsidies and how they are cancelling out significant progress towards ending climate change and are driving inequality by benefitting the rich.
UNDP research released as part of the campaign shows that the world spends an astounding $423 billion annually to subsidise fossil fuels for consumers – oil, the electricity that is generated by the burning of other fossil fuels, gas, and coal.
The campaign and film hope to make the sometimes complex and technical issues relating to Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the climate emergency more accessible.
Through a variety of actions that the public is invited to take, the aim is to both educate and give voice to people worldwide.