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Breaching UN protocol: Don’t go extinct, dinosaur appeals to humans

The scene is from a CGI film launched as centerpiece of UNDP campaign

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 28, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Oct 28, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

Photo: AFP

In a UN first, a ferocious but talkative dinosaur burst 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, a report in UN News said on Thursday.

“At least we had an asteroid … What’s your excuse?” a Tyrannosaurus Rex asks humans as it addresses from the green marble rostrum in the UN General Assembly Hall, where world leaders make their voices heard across the globe.

The dinosaur’s message to humans was loud and clear: “Don’t choose extinction, save your species before it’s too late. It’s time for you humans to stop making excuses and start making changes.”

According to a popular theory, dinosaurs went extinct 70 million years ago after the earth was hit by an asteroid.

This isn’t a slice of the real-life, of course, rather the key computer-generated scene from a 150-second film launched this Tuesday by the UN Development Programme or UNDP, as the centerpiece of the agency’s ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign.

“I know a thing or two about extinction and let me tell you – and you’d kind of think this would be obvious: Going extinct is a bad thing!” the dinosaur tells the audience in awe. “And driving yourselves extinct in 70 million years? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

The dinosaur goes on to highlight how ridiculous fossil fuel subsidies are.

“You’re headed for a climate disaster. And yet every year governments spend hundreds of billions of public funds on fossil fuel subsidies. Imagine if we had spent hundreds of billions per year subsidizing giant meteors! That’s what you’re doing right now!” says the dinosaur.

UNDP research released as part of the campaign showed that the world spends $423 billion annually to subsidize fossil fuel consumption.

This amount could cover the cost of Covid-19 vaccination for everyone in the world, or pay for three times the annual amount needed to eradicate global extreme poverty.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, who launched the campaign, said fossil fuel subsidies were a “regressive policy measure because they actually benefit the wealthier but are often deployed in the name of the poorer”.

“It is a myth that we have to tackle head-on because it has always been used as an argument as to why fossil fuel subsidies should be maintained,” he told reporters.

“This is why fossil fuel subsidies are not just about energy pricing, fossil fuel markets, carbon emissions. They are actually about sustainable development, inclusive development, and green recovery. Reform is not only necessary but also, when done correctly, actually supports poverty eradication, creates jobs and livelihoods, and protects the planet,” he said.

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