A massive dinosaur ambled to the podium at the United Nations to deliver an urgent message that the world’s governments have heard and ignored before.
In a video released on Oct. 27, Frankie the Dinosaur, a computer-generated fictional creature urged the United Nations General Assembly to end public funds on fossil fuel subsidies.
Frankie called on the world not to “choose extinction.”
“Going extinct is a bad thing. And driving yourselves extinct? In 70 million years, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard,” said Frankie, who is voiced in English by actor and songwriter Jack Black, from the podium of the U.N. General Assembly. “You are headed for a climate disaster and yet every year governments spend hundreds of billions of public funds on fossil fuel subsidies.”
Each year, governments around the globe spend about $423 billion subsidizing fossil fuels, which are responsible for three-quarters of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to United Nations Development Program Administrator Achim Steiner.
“There is an element of humor and adventure in there, but really it is to carry a very vital message to a very broad audience,” Steiner said.
“It is meant to interest young people, old people, people who think that they have nothing to do with this and yet they are part of that fossil fuel economy that is taking us to the brink of a point of no return also in terms of climate change,” he added.
Steiner said that spending $423 billion a year on fossil fuel subsidies is not an effective use of taxpayers’ money. He added that they are often justified to ensure energy is cheaper for poorer people.
“But actually, when you look at the statistics the interesting reality is that it is something that actually benefits, really, the wealthier parts of society because they are disproportionately larger users of energy,” Steiner said.
Despite warnings, governments are on track to produce more than twice the level of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be needed to keep rising global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The dinosaur, named Frankie according to its Twitter page, bears a strong resemblance to the velociraptors from the film “Jurassic World” and is voiced by multiple celebrities in different languages, including film star and musician Jack Black in English and other stars like Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Danish.
The video starts with the CGI creature strolling into the U.S. General Assembly in New York to the surprise of delegates inside. After a comedic interaction with a security guard, the dinosaur grabs the microphone and delivers a surprisingly astute speech about the looming climate emergency, warning humanity to not “choose extinction” and telling humans to “save our species.”