UNDP’s campaign puts spotlight on climate crisis, launched in Brussels
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched in Brussels today its new global campaign ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ through a conversation on climate and inequalities at the Museum of Natural Sciences, which hosts the largest dinosaur gallery in Europe.
Speakers included Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director General of European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment, Pär Holmgren, Member of the European Parliament, Martin Shearman, British Ambassador to Belgium, and Esmeralda Wirtz, a climate activist and representative at Youth4Climate from Belgium, who highlighted the climate emergency and the need to step up on climate action to succeed in keeping our planet safe for future generations.
The centerpiece of the campaign is a short film that brings a ferocious, talking dinosaur to the United Nations’ headquarters to urge more climate action from global leaders. 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,” the dinosaur warns, referring to the popular theory explaining dinosaurs’ extinction 70 million years ago. “What’s your excuse?”
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.
“Climate change and inequality are inextricably linked. The rapid acceleration of climate change presents the biggest existential threat to humanity ever known. Just like the COVID-19 pandemic, it affects everyone - but not equally,” said Camilla Brückner, Director of the UNDP Office in Brussels.
The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign features a collective intelligence platform, the Global Mindpool, to help tackle the most important issues of our time. Linking insights from around the world - on the climate emergency, the crisis in nature and inequality – the Global Mindpool will support UNDP to better inform and equip policy makers in government, civil society, and the private sector.
In Belgium, UNDP has partnered with ING which supported the campaign by projecting the film visuals and message on its Headquarters facade, one of Brussels’ landmarks. In the Brussels Airport, through which thousands of passengers pass every day, the ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ message has been shown on screens, with the display and film set to run for 10 days.
The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign will provide the platform to engage not only with our core partners, such as the European Union and the Belgian government, but also with the broader public, to address the climate crisis. Much bolder climate action is needed and partnerships are essential to achieve this goal,” said Camilla Brückner.
For more information on the ‘Don’t Choose Extinction ’campaign, visit www.dontchooseextinction.com