Ulaanbaatar, 2 December- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mongolia brings a ferocious, talking dinosaur from Mongolia all the way to the United Nations’ headquarters to urge more climate action from global leaders, in a short film launched as the centerpiece of the global ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign.

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. 

“At least we had an asteroid,” she warns, referring to the popular theory explaining dinosaurs’ extinction 70 million years ago. “What’s your excuse?”

UNDP’s ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign and film aim to shine a spotlight on fossil fuel subsidies and how they are canceling out significant progress towards ending climate change and are driving inequality. 

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. 

In Mongolia, UNDP aims to raise awareness on the emerging climate crisis in the country via adopting the global campaign. Mongolia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change as in the last 70 years, annual air temperature increased by about 2,40C, more than double the global average. Ongoing climate warming is causing drought, extreme weather hazards, frequent wildfires, permafrost loss and water shortage in the country. Such negative impacts pose growing challenges and risks to rural livelihoods, which in turn forces internal migration to urban centres. Intensive urbanization has challenges of its own, such as a critical level of air and environmental pollution among others. 

In the context of the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign, UNDP Mongolia call for increased investments in renewable energy solutions, and reduced costs of renewable energy relative to coal-fired power to provide an alternate solution to use for urban residents living in ger (yurt) dwellings with no access to central heating in Mongolia during harsh winter months.

The campaign and film hope to make the sometimes complex and technical issues relating to Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the climate emergency more accessible.  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). 

This first-ever film to be made inside the UN General Assembly using computer-generated imagery (CGI), and features Distinguished Actress Ms.I.Odonchimeg voicing the Mongolian version of the global campaign video. 

COVID-19 presents an opportunity for governments across the globe to act now to prevent the devastating consequences of climate change.  Nature is our single strongest ally to achieve the SDGs. It is now or never. Don’t Choose Extinction.