In a UN first, a ferocious and talkative dinosaur bursts into the iconic General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York, with a special warning for any diplomats who still think climate action is for the birds.
“At least we had an asteroid,” the carnivorous critter warns, referring to the popular theory explaining dinosaurs’ extinction 70 million years ago. “What’s your excuse?”
This isn’t a slice of real life, of course, rather the key computer-generated scene from a new short film launched this Tuesday by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as the centerpiece of the agency’s ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign.
The dinosaur then tells the audience of bewildered diplomats that “it’s time humans stopped making excuses and started making changes” to address the climate crisis.
A global production
It’s the first-ever film to be made inside the General Assembly Hall using computer-generated imagery, known as CGI, and features global celebrities voicing the dinosaur in numerous languages, including actors Eiza González (Spanish), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish), and Aïssa Maïga (French).
UNDP research released as part of the campaign shows that the world spends $423 billion annually just to subsidize fossil fuels, enough to cover a COVID-19 vaccination for every person in the world or three times the annual amount needed to eradicate global extreme poverty.
“Think of all the other things you could do with that money. Around the world, people are living in poverty," the dinosaur says.
"Don’t you think that helping them would make more sense than…paying for the demise of your entire species?”