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Dinosaur urges world leaders not to ‘Choose Extinction’ at United NationsThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is bringing a ferocious, talking dinosaur to the United Nations’ headquarters to shine a spotlight on the hundreds of billions of dollars governments spend every year propping up the fossil fuel industry.
The short film, launched today, as the centerpiece of a new ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign, urges world leaders to end fossil fuel subsidies which are “canceling out significant progress towards ending climate change and are driving inequality by benefitting the rich.”
Bursting into the iconic General Assembly Hall, famous for history-making speeches by leaders from around the world, the imposing dinosaur tells an audience of shocked and bewildered diplomats and dignitaries that “it’s time humans stopped making excuses and started making changes” to address the climate crisis.
UNDP research released as part of the campaign shows that the world spends an astounding US$423 billion annually to subsidize fossil fuels for consumers – oil, electricity that is generated by the burning of other fossil fuels, gas, and coal.
This could cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations for every person in the world, or pay for three times the annual amount needed to eradicate global extreme poverty.
“At least we had an asteroid,” the dinosaur warns, referring to the popular theory explaining dinosaurs’ extinction 70 million years ago. “What’s your excuse?”
The dinosaur goes 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.
“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 says.
“The UN Secretary-General has called the climate crisis a ‘code red for humanity’,” said Ulrika Modéer, Head of UNDP’s Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy. “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.”
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.
The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ film was created in partnership with Activista Los Angeles (a multiple-award-winning creative agency), David Litt (US President Barack Obama’s speechwriter) and Framestore (the creative studio behind James Bond, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers End Game).
Find out more about the campaign at www.dontchooseextinction.com
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