Return to Transcripts main page


Refugee Center Bombed in Libya; President Trump Defended CBP Facilities; Salute to America Just Hours Away; Japan's Southern Island Bracing for Heavy Rains; Sicily's Stromboli Eruption Claimed a Hiker's Life; Netherlands Women's Team Heads to World Cup Final; Behind The Brand Of Hero Motocorp; Global Energy Challenge. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 4, 2019 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Forty people at a center sheltering migrants. And now the U.N. wants answers.

And despite the squalid conditions, President Trump doesn't see any major problems at U.S. migrant centers. He says those being detained are already better off than they were at


Plus, one of the most active volcanoes on earth, erupts and rocks the Italian island of Stromboli.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

We begin with a crisis that knows no borders, despite migrants in peril at home making dangerous journeys in search of a safe harbor, only to find themselves held and brutal and often dangerous conditions.

We're going to focus on two stories. One unfolding at the U.S. Mexico border, the other out of Libya. But first, some numbers to ponder. The U.N. refugee agency says 37,000 people a day are forced from their homes because of conflict and persecution.

And there are more than 70 million people who have been forcibly displaced around the world.

Now that gives you some context for Wednesday's deadly attack at a migrant detention center in Libya. U.N. officials say the airstrikes could amount to a war crime, at least 40 people were killed, and dozens wounded.

Libya's internationally recognized government is blaming forces loyal to a renegade general who are trying to take over Tripoli. But their leader is pointing the finger at militias in the Libyan capital.

CNN's Becky Anderson has more.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: An attack on innocent civilians, in the dead of the night. Emergency workers struggling to identify victims and body parts in the rubble of an air strike. Parts of the Tajoura migrant detention center were brought to the

ground, many inside had no chance. Those who did survive rushed to recover their few possessions.

The center held at least 600 men, women, and children from other countries. Refugees and migrants who had fled other horrors, violence, persecution, and economic repression in the search for a better life.


OTHMAN MUSA, NIGERIAN MIGRANT: All that we know is, we want the U.N. to help people out of this place because this place is dangerous. There are some people that stranded here, they don't know what to do, they don't know where to go.


ANDERSON: The U.N. says there needs to be more than just condemnation. A full independent investigation to determine how and why this happened. To bring those responsible to account.

No one has yet claimed responsibility but the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is blaming Khalifa Haftar, a renegade general whose forces have been fighting for control of the capital for more than a year.


EUGENIO AMBROSI, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: It is simply not acceptable that civilians are targeted, that the target of military action in an area of the town where it's known that civilians are present and living, and therefore, knowing very well that there will be high civilian casualty is very high.


ANDERSON: But the victims here had no part to play in the battle. And, yet, they paid the ultimate price.

Becky Anderson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

CHURCH: Well, award winning journalist Sally Hayden has been in contact with people stuck in some of these detention centers in Libya. Here's a clip from one of her conversations with a 16-year-old boy. He is talking about Wednesday's terrifying attacks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God. It's a terrible moment that happened three minutes, dear. They are attacking. There was another strike.

SALLY HAYDEN, JOURNALIST: It was close to you? Was anyone hurt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the windows and doors are broken. Thanks to our (Inaudible). You're going to be praying for us.

HAYDEN: OK, praying for you. Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God.


CHURCH: Well, as horrific as this air strike was, it was not necessarily unexpected. Strikes have been hitting the area around the center for some time. The center looks similar to an aircraft hangar and it's next to a military camp, one of several east of Tripoli.


CHARLIE YAXLEY, SPOKESPERSON, UNHCR: This was a very preventable tragedy that happened just two months ago. We warned after a similar air strike that injured two other refugees and migrants that this was a pressing danger and that the people inside needed to be urgently evacuated.

No action was taken, and today we've seen the tragic consequences of that with some of the detainees paying the price with their lives.


[03:05:01] CHURCH: Well, Libya of course, is one of the main departure point for African migrants fleeing war and poverty as they tried to find a better life in Europe.

President Donald Trump is defending the treatment of migrants at the U.S. Border. In a tweet he, said this, "Our border patrol people are not hospital workers, doctors, or nurses. Great job by border patrol above and beyond. Many of these illegal aliens are living better now than where they came from, and in far safer conditions."

And that's despite descriptions of disturbing conditions by Democratic lawmakers who toured the facilities. The government's own watchdog found dangerous overcrowding, and doctors are questioning the medical care migrants are receiving.

Scott McLean has the details.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The border crisis through the eyes of the most vulnerable, drawings depicting children in cages with are from 10 and 11-year-old migrants who were recently held inside a Customs and Border Patrol detention center.

A doctor from the American Academy of Pediatrics tell CBS she received the drawings from a social worker while touring to facilities last week. The doctor now describing what she saw smelled.


SARA GOZA, PRESIDENT-ELECT, AMERICA ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: When I opened the door the first thing that hit us it was a smell, and it was a smell of sweat, urine, and feces. And I heard crinkling to my left and I looked over there, and there is a sea of silver. I described them almost like dog cages. And with people in each of them, and the silence were just hard to watch -- hard to see. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLEAN: The drawings come in addition to newly released photos showing extreme overcrowding in facilities in the Rio Grande Valley during an announced June visit by a government watchdog group.

The report by the DHS inspector general found multiple violations of U.S. detention policy, including a lack of hot meals, and inadequate access to showers. One border patrol agent who agreed to go on camera only if their identity was concealed, described the conditions in the El Paso sector to CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cells, they are, what I will say, filthy. We have a minute and cleaning crew that a clean the general area but I have never seen them cleaning counters or cleaning toilets in the cells or cleaning sinks in the cell. Sometimes you go in a cell and there's trash everywhere.


MCLEAN: Following a congressional delegation's visit to the border this week, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is calling on President Trump to immediately establish final plans, standards, and protocols to protect the health and safety of individuals in the capacity of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Also, tonight, the acting Homeland Security chief has ordered an immediate investigation into offensive posts and comments allegedly made in a private Facebook group used by current and former border patrol personnel.

The post exposed by the investigative group, ProPublica, included jokes about immigrant deaths and lewd photoshopped images of Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan tweeting "Any employee found to have compromised the public's trust in our law enforcement mission will be held accountable. They do not represent the men and women of the Border Patrol or DHS."

The number of migrants arrested by Border Patrol was about 95,000 in June, that is about a 28 percent decrease from May. And that may seem like authorities are starting to get a handle on the problem but it is still almost three times more than the same time last year.

Scott McLean, CNN, El Paso, Texas.

CHURCH: For more on this, we turn now to CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein, he's also a senior editor at the Atlantic. Thank you so much for joining us.


CHURCH: So, in a series of tweets President Trump said immigrants at the border are living better lives than ever before and in safer conditions, despite new images showing quite the contrary.

And Democrats are sharing disturbing stories of appalling living conditions after visiting border detention centers, but Mr. Trump rejects this as simply politics. But it's not just the Democrats saying this, isn't it?


CHURCH: What's happening here?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it's also the inspector general. I mean, look, I think what's happening here is every once in a while, the subtext becomes text, and for a portion of the president's constituency, being tough on immigrants is its own reward, you know.

And that the president -- and that the -- as my colleague Adam Serwer has wrote, you know, the cruelty is the point at points. And by the way, the president sort of hinted at that argument himself today in another one of the tweets, as you know.

[03:09:59] When he said, if people don't want to live in these conditions, they shouldn't come here in the first place without authorization.

And so, the idea that this is not a byproduct of being overcrowded, but perhaps the goal, is something that the president himself kind of alluded to.

CHURCH: Right. Basically, sending the message of deterrence, right? So --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, exactly.

CHURCH: And about --

BROWNSTEIN: As was the separation, right?

CHURCH: Right.

BROWNSTEIN: I mean, that was kind of the argument for the separation of parents and children.

CHURCH: But the things is, people are still coming, aren't they? But about 24 hours ago, we were reporting that the Justice Department would go ahead and print the 2020 census without including that controversial citizenship question, in response to a Supreme Court decision made last week.

But now, the Justice Department is reversing that decision, saying it's considering whether to add that citizenship question to the census. What changed?

BROWNSTEIN: The president. I mean, the president did not want to be seen as backing down. You know, the Justice Department, and I believe on at least nine occasions in the earlier litigations, said that the absolute deadline for the printing of the census documents was June 30th.

And in fact, my understanding is at this moment they are already printing census documents without the question included.

But, the but is that John Roberts the chief justice of the Supreme Court, did leave them the opening, while he rejected the question for now, he said they could go back to the lower courts with another rationale for doing it, and try to work its way up to the Supreme Court in times to include in the census. And that it seems is why the president is now demanding that the Justice Department do in a day of total chaos.

CHURCH: Right. So why is the citizenship question so important to President Trump, what's he hoping to achieve by including it?

BROWNSTEIN: Look, I think there is a practical reason and a symbolic reason. There is no reason, the census department, the census bureau's own experts have concluded, that including a citizenship question will significantly reduce the count of Hispanic Americans.

People will be reluctant to answer the questionnaire, and that means two things. First, as political power, political districting for Congress and state legislatures follow census results as does the apportionment of federal dollars.

This will shift influence and money from places that are more diverse to places that are less diverse. But I think there is also a powerful symbolic message here as well for the president because, you know, when we talk about making America great again, again, restoration is at the core of his message.

And there is no way to more powerful signal your determination to restore in early America than to literally kind of erase from existence millions of non-white Americans by not counting them in the census.

CHURCH: Ron Brownstein, thank you as always.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for -- thanks for having me.

CHURCH: Well, the weather is threatening to put a damper on Donald Trump's salute to America celebration. The forecast in Washington calls for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms, with temperatures over 32 degrees Celsius. And that's not only the concern.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We are now just hours away from this grand extravaganza that the president has planned for the 4th of July celebration, something that we should note past president have not typically attended here in the nation's capital.

But as they are still putting the last-minute touches over at the White House on this event, we're also told they're still handing out tickets to patrons. Now they have about 15,000 for those general admission seats, open to

the public of course, but then they have a section of reserve seating from VIPs. That's going to include political donors, allies of the president, some friends, they say.

And that's one of the reasons they are facing scrutiny over this from Democrats, who say that the president is turning what's supposed to be a patriotic event into a partisan one.

But of course, that's not the only thing they are facing scrutiny over. We also have military officials telling CNN behind the scenes that there have been top officials at the Pentagon who have been reluctant to parade out the military equipment that you're going to see during this event, because they don't want the president to politicize the military.

Of course, the other thing that people are paying close attention to, is how much this is all going to cost. And so far, the Department of Defense has not revealed just what kind of a price tag they're expecting on this.

But we do know that the Washington Post is reporting they're going to divert at least 2.5 million from the National Parks service, that's money they get from entrance fees and whatnot, and they are going to use that to help cover just a fraction of what this event is going to cost.

The question for everyone in Washington is going to be, what is the president going to say tonight when he is expected to speak for about roughly 20 minutes, which the White House his speech -- says his speech that's going to reach all Americans, but of course, we have all seen what it's like when the president goes off script.

CHURCH: An Australian citizen feared missing in North Korea is now safe. Australia's prime minister says 29-year-old Alek Sigley is at the Australian embassy in Beijing.

He says Sweden helped secure Sigley's release from detention. The Australian had been studying at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang, and his family reported him missing over a week ago. It's not known why North Korea detained him.

[03:15:08] Well, southern Japan is on alert for mudslides, following torrential rain and almost a million people could be in harm's way. A live report from Tokyo is just ahead.

Plus, one of the most active volcanoes in the world claims the life of a hiker and sets off wildfires on a popular Italian island.

We're back in a moment.


CHURCH: Southern Japan is bracing for possible landslides following extremely heavy downpours across the island of Kyushu, home to more than 13 million people. Almost a million residents have been told to leave areas prone to flooding and mudslides for evacuation centers.

The government says thousands of troops are ready for emergency operations if necessary.

So, for more we, want to go to Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo. So, Kaori, what is the latest, and of course the one million people ordered to evacuate in southern Japan?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Rosemary, thousands are still in evacuation centers. The number seems to be coming down over the last 12 hours or so, at one point more than one million people were ordered to evacuate. That number too is coming down in some of these areas.

But as you pointed out, the southern island of Kyushu has been hit by torrential rain. It's is not just over the last 24 hours, it's been relentless, pretty much since last Friday, and that is why the government is very nervous about some of these areas that are potentially landslide prone.

Now you're looking at very, very muddy waters in some of these areas as well. There have been very few casualties thankfully this time. One woman. There's a search and rescue operation underway for a woman in her 80's who is missing, she was living in a home alone that got buried on the mud.

And I think that shows the vulnerability of some of these rural areas in particular because, remember, a quarter of the population in Japan is over 65, and a lot of these people live alone in some of these homes.

And so, I think the government has been trying to get the warning out as early as possible, because they also remember, they have painful memories from last year when a similar flood wreaked havoc across the country and killed more than 200 people.

So, the worst of the rain seems to be over, it seems to be moving toward the central areas and towards the capital herein Tokyo. But they're saying because it has been so relentless over the last week, you're seeing some cities get dumped with monthly precipitation levels in just a span of four or five days.

They say it's still too early to call the alarm off so they're keeping some of these evacuation orders in place.

As I say, this is the rainy season, and they're saying that for the next couple of days the rain is predicted around these areas.

[03:19:59] So, not the casualties have not been exceedingly high but there are still hundreds, possibly thousands in some of these evacuation centers, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Kaori Enjoji, thank you so much for that live report. I appreciate it.

Well, a popular tourist spot in Italy has been rattled by one of the world's most active volcanoes. One hiker was killed in a series of eruptions on the island of Stromboli.

Much of the island was engulfed in smoke and ash and local reports say some tourists jumped into the sea to escape the lava flows. Firefighters have targeted hotspots with water drop from the air.

Well, let's get more on all of this with our meteorologist Karen Maginnis. This is a real concern, isn't it? It's extraordinary at this stage. We only understand only casualty but it is, it is a worry for authorities there.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is. And this is one of the most visited volcanoes in the world. It is off the coast of Italy, it is part of an archipelago, or a group or a string of islands. And many tourists go there, people can hike up to a certain distance, it's not a very tall volcano at all, it's less than a kilometer high.

Here's that spectacular view. It has been almost continually erupting for thousands of years, but especially since 1932, it has been erupting rather regularly.

So, this is something that people see, they view from boats. At one time on this particular island there used to be thousands of people that would live there. But because of this such violent activity associate with the volcano the population is down around a few hundred people that live there.

Here's a different perspective. As you can see, this is called a strata volcano, it is not one of those really tall peaks that you see, but it is very active. And so, there is quite this tourism industry.

And the Strombolian volcano actually has a classification of its own, Strombolian. They refer to other volcanoes as being Strombolian. Meaning it has eruptions that are like fountains, if you will, and they can erupt as kind of a display, a fireworks display.

Some of these are very large and then there are small pieces, and apparently, some of the debris is what impacted and took the life of one of the visitors there.

Now you don't typically see these violent eruptions that takes place with this particular volcano, it doesn't give you a lot of indications like some other volcanoes where they rumble and make seismic activity for months and months at a time.

That's what you see on the Hawaiian Islands, you see this long display before there's actually an eruption. In this particular case it happened rather swiftly, so there's not a lot of warning for people to escape this. But now it has opened up different fissures, there's smoke, and still the danger exists. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much, Karen. I appreciate it.

We are getting a new look inside Hong Kong's legislative council building after protestors stormed it on Monday.

Police showed reporters some of the damage Wednesday. And you can see debris, broken glass, and graffities spray painted on walls. Demonstrators were protesting a now suspended bill that would allow people to be extradited from Hong Kong to China.

Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam strongly condemned Monday's violent protests. Thirteen police officers were taken to hospitals during those clashes.

The leader of India's opposition Congress party says he is stepping down. Rahul Gandhi is calling for radical transformation of the party after they lost two general elections in a row to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party.

Gandhi first announced that he was quitting as Congress leader in May, but the party refused to accept it. For nearly 70 years, a member of his family has controlled India's Congress party.

Well, the matchup is set for the Women's World Cup final. The Netherlands and Sweden battle until the very last minute for their chance at the championship. We'll take a look when we come back.


CHURCH: Team Netherlands are headed for their first ever trip to the Women's World Cup final. They advance to the championship with a last- minute goal against Sweden on Wednesday.

CNN's Amanda Davies has the highlights.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS PRESENTER: It was only four years ago that the Netherlands made it to the World Cup for the first time. Now they're gearing up for a World Cup final against three-time champions, the USA.

It certainly won't go down as a classic against Sweden, it was difficult to compare as an occasion to what we saw in the other semifinal matchups between England and the USA on Tuesday night, both in terms of atmosphere and precision and urgency on the pitch.

We had two sides confident in possession, but not always finding the opportunities to do something with it. The likes of Vivianne Miedema for the Netherlands and Sweden's Stina Blackstenius were short of chances, both keepers did make a couple of stunning saves, and ultimately, the Dutch continued their habit of scoring late.

So late this time we needed extra time. It was Manchester United's new signing Jackie Groenen who made the breakthrough and put the European champions into Sunday's decider, which will no doubt prove their biggest challenge yet.

Amanda Davies, CNN, Lyon, France.

CHURCH: And sure (Ph) another win for the wonder of Wimbledon, 15- year-old American Cori Coco Gauff is through to the next round after her straight set victory over Magdalena Rybarikova. Gauff beat five- time Wimbledon champ Venus Williams in the first round, she is the youngest ever to emerge from qualifying and the youngest since 1991 to win a match in the main draw.

And thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter at Rosemary CNN. The global energy challenge is up next. You're watching CNN. Have yourselves a great day.


PAWAN MUNJAL, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, HERO MOTOCORP: Since the time we started in 1985, since then we started in 1985, we cumulatively already sold 85 million motorcycle and scooters that is a huge number. We are now doing our own technology. We are building our own products. It's very important for the company to go outside our borders into other markets, take the brand out there, take the company out there, I am really very keen to see the brand Hero, a household name around the globe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Energy, the power behind humanity. Progress at a cost, and still close to a billion of us are without electricity. As we aspire for quality, and the quality of life, our numbers rise. With each new generation, expectations will demand more efficient power for greener and cleaner sources. Needing innovators and visionaries across some of the world's key economies, I'm on a journey to explore how we can make this critical energy transition. Our very existence may depend on how we face up to the global energy challenge.

New Delhi, the capital city of India. It is home to more than 20 million people and is one of the world's fastest growing cities. It has a relentless demand for energy. In fact, the people of this vast nation are among the largest growing energy consumers in the world. That is why I'm beginning an energy journey, and one of the world's most populous countries. A trip that will take us more than 3,000 kilometers into the heart of rural India, but it's to New Delhi where we began, with a trip to one of its busy street market.

If I had to pick one word to describe the city, the first choice would be chaos, and the second would be energy.

Thirty-year-old Varun Sivaram, gets India's energies challenge. Born in the United States to an Indian immigrants, the Stanford educated road scholar is an energy expert, who has packed his bags and moved to be at the heart of these energy transition.

Is India the right place to delve in first for us?

VARUN SIVARAM, AUTHOR, TAMING THE SUN: I could not think of a better country around the world, not a single country around the world where you don't have a more exciting or more challenging energy transition. Look, here in India, 300 million people are going to enter India Cities by 2050. Three quarters of the building stock in 2040 hasn't been built yet, and there's this enormous transition going on now, or so we hope, from coal to a renewable energy.

India is the place to be, and it's also the place we must be because as that climate change continues to ravage the planet, and developing countries in particular, it's going to be nations like Indian with rapid emissions growth, but have to step up, slow their growth and also protect their people from what climate change is going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People love a challenge, but is this a grave challenge in India? Insurmountable challenge?

SIVARAM: I would not call it insurmountable, it's great, absolutely, but I wouldn't call it insurmountable, otherwise I would not be here. India's emissions are growing very rapidly, it's also the world fastest growing major economy over the last five years. So it's trying to do three things all at once. It's trying to power it's rapidly growing economy, it's trying to control its rapidly growing emissions.

Nine out of 10 of the most polluted cities in the world are in India. And third, it's trying to protect the country from what climate changes about to do. It's going to bring droughts, it's going to bring natural disasters, these three things in parallel, powering the country, controlling its emissions, and adapting to climate change are very difficult to do all at once, but it's not insurmountable.

[03:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: India is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Intense heat waves during the summer months have become the norm. It's the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

SUNITA NARAIN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT: We are not backing from the challenge, we are not running away. We have large numbers of people in this country who recognize the fact that, yes, climate change is here, because our crops are suffering, we are finding freak weather more and more. We know the pain of climate change, but we also know that we cannot be the victims of climate change. We cannot today be ask to be also the only solution to climate change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there is another major environmental issue affecting this country. Air pollution. With India having the majority of the most polluted cities in the world, New Delhi has emerged as one of the most dire on earth. Hazardous air engulfs it on a daily basis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the last three, years I've started having a permanent cough. That just tells you the cause of living and working in the polluted city. Do we have to clean it up? Yes. And in each city, the reason for pollution is somewhat different, but ultimately, it's about industrial power stations, it's about transportation, it's about construction and demolition ways.

NARAIN: The City of Delhi is to the outraged at the level of pollution. Right now, our pollution levels are high, because we have high sunlight, we have ozone levels that are high, but in winter is when you really see the force of pollution, because that is when it (inaudible) takes place. We are trying, we are working on it, but it's a tough challenge, because it's an energy challenge. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Delhi has made some efforts. Heavy polluting

coal fire power plants within 100 kilometers of the city have been closed, and all public transport vehicles have switch to cleaner, compressed natural gas, but it hasn't done enough. The reason, India's sheer growing demand for energy, a demand that set to double over the next decade.

NARAIN: It's a challenge where we have to deliver basic energy to millions of people. Just think of the fact that there are millions of households still which cook their food on biomass, which means that poor women are exposed to extremely polluted air, because they can't afford clean energy. That is the level of energy poverty we have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To witness firsthand what's driving the increasing energy demand, we've come to an air conditioner production facility outside of New Delhi. More than 12000 units roll off the production line at two of L.G.'s plant every day. They expect to sell more than 1 million units this year alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The single largest increased in electricity demand is coming from air conditioning. As people become richer, they buy more air conditioners, but the problem that this does is, that it leads to peaks in electricity demand. In the City of Delhi, we have now started to see that the largest electricity is used at 11:00 at night on hot, humid night. Why? Because that is when each one of us are going to bed and switch on our air conditioners. Now, this is when only 6 percent of Indians, and 10 percent of Indians in Delhi have air conditioners. I shudder to think what will happen to the demand profile as more and more people get air conditioning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Demand for electricity is set to explode, with the current population of 1.3 billion. In a matter of years, India is set to overtake China as the most populous country in the world. As I leave New Delhi, I'm struck by the daunting challenges facing this developing country. How to deliver more energy to its growing masses, but also address its dirty energy sources. Toxic air pollution, and escalating CO2 emissions. Well, my next destination provide me with some answers.

A train and car ride several hours later, and I'm in the coal capital of India, Singrauli. Here, in the northern coalfields, open cast minds that run for kilometers on and dominate the landscape.

It's extraordinary, the sheer size of it is mind-boggling.

A massive 70 percent of this country's electricity now comes from coal, almost double the amount used by the rest of the world. This is a 24 hour, seven days a week, 365 days a year operation.

[03:40:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a total of I think more than 12 billion tons of coal lying here. It can for up to more than 40 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coal is the world oldest and dirtiest energy source. It is powered the industrial revolution. But today, it's being targeted as one of the chief villains of global warning. Singrauli has eight coal power plants, producing enough electricity every day to power 16 million homes. It is just staggering the scale of this operation, there are 58 wagons on each train filled with coal and they're up to 80 trains delivering to power plant in this area.

The skies throughout Singrauli are covered in a thick dark haze. At times, in the distance, you can barely make out the coal firing chimney stacks.

Because India behind in what other countries are doing to deal with climate change?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is behind it, but we are trying our best to make it. In this area, you are seeing and heard that it is a critical polluted area, but it's not with the coal mining only. We are (inaudible) to the (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we do the interview, you can see the air quality here.



Apart from the coal mines and plans, up to 1 million people live in Singrauli. Ruta Kahar, her husband and three children have been trying to survive in the midst of the pollution for several years.

RUTA KAHAR, SINGRAULI RESIDENT (through translator): We are unable to carry out any family activities, we have problems drinking water, we have (inaudible) complications, children are impacted to because of the coal. The coal dust gets into the house, it gets deposited on to our food, there is a lot of difficulty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite just getting access to electricity, Ruta still cooks using highly polluted wood. And what has been seen as a huge success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government says it has brought electricity to tens of millions of rural Indians. But while many villages have been connected, many individual houses have yet to be linked up, and many are too poor to afford it.

DILIP KUMAR NAMDEO, SINGRAULI BUSINESSMAN (through translator): There are 400 people in this village and everybody is affected, everyone here is below the poverty line, ever since this coal production came into existence, it has given rise to a lot of health problems. We've complained about this several times, but nobody has paid heed to what we have said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the health effects institute, 1.2 million deaths were caused in India in 2017 due to air pollution. Northern coal fields limited says, mitigation measures are being introduced to try and reduce the pollution. Waters being sprayed on the coal fields to decrease the spread of dust, thousands of trucks that ferry coal to the plants will be phased out in favor of trains. Old power stations are being decommissioned and replaced with newer less damaging plants, which claim it lessen the emissions entering the atmosphere, but it's clearly not enough. Coal is worldwide a major contributor to co2 emissions. This must be a major concern personally and for the company.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are making all efforts, we are leaving no stone unturned for environment pollution control. I am sure that this will be taken care of in the near future. We are trying our best, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: However, the production of coal is not set to seize here anytime soon. In fact there are plans for it to increase by 20 percent between now and 2024. All to meet this country's sheer demand for energy.

When we come back, I travel to a state that is a shining example of what India needs to do to embrace clean energy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Telangana is one of 29 states in India. It's almost the size of Greece and home to 40 million people. Its capital (inaudible) has become a tech hub. When it comes to power, it's a microcosm of the country's energy transformation, and how it plans to tackle air pollution and rising co2 emissions. That is why I've come here to find out if the changes taking place can be replicated across the country. Five years ago, the state had daily power cuts.

AJAY MISRA, SPECIAL CHIEF SECRETARY, ENERGY DEPARTMENT: The agricultural or the rural was getting power only four to five hours per day. Then, in the city and surrounding, the industry was witnessing two days in a week, there was no power supply for the industry. Since January 2018, 24 by seven electricity is being provided to the people of Telangana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state government has invested big in a non- fossil fuel energy sources, especially solar. Today is the second largest producer of solar energy in the country.

SUMANT SINHA, CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, RENEWED POWER LIMITED: When Mr. Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, at that time, we had about 20,000 megawatts of water, wind and sun installed. And at that point he said a target of getting at the end of -- by the end of 2022, almost 175,000 megawatts have been installed. Which is it eight times growth in the next eight years, and that is actually quite remarkable.

[03:50:15] It is almost China ask and its thought process, setting a very large target and trying to work towards getting there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: India is a perfect location for solar power, as it receives twice as much sunshine as Europe. It is led to renew power, becoming the largest independent producer of clean energy in India. Currently producing about 1 percent of the country's electricity.

SINHA: The cost of renewable energy which will replace coal over time has come down quite dramatically, and so now renewable energy is about 30 to 40 percent cheaper then thermal energy. And so that really begins to provide the foundation for these transition to happen, from thermal, into renewables.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there is a problem with solar. The sun does not shine all day. Battery storage is very expensive and you currently can store solar energy for a long period of time.

SINHA: I think storage will become cheaper as you go forward, and to the cost of solar, plus storage will end up eventually becoming cheaper, or at least on par, with other sources of energy like coal. And that is really when (inaudible) tipping point of renewable energy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: India has set a target for 40 percent of its electricity to be from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, but despite rapid growth in the renewable sector, it is still not enough to meet the country's thirst for energy.

SINHA: I think that, over the next 12 or 13 years, India's energy demand is going to double from where we are right now. Because you're going at about 67 percent every year. And a large part of that incremental demand will be met through renewable energy sources. But the reality is, that even if you meet 50 percent of the new incremental demand from renewable energy, the balance of 50 percent also has to be met from somewhere. It's unlikely to be hydro or nuclear or even gas, and therefore, the slack is going to be picked up by coal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Telangana is already achieving 40 percent of its electricity from a mix of renewables. The remainder, 60 percent it's from coal, some of which is source through a warrant of underground mines. To see how this works, I'm venturing underground, 300 meters deep underground, in fact.

Down here, it's like another cities of hundreds of workers, beavering away around the clock in search for the black gold. In these minds, production is also being wrapped up to meet the escalating demand for energy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In addition to what we have today, approximately 10,000 megawatts, in the next four years we will be adding approximately 9000 megawatts of thermal energy.

(Inaudible) we have gone far from what is called super critical technology, which has very low level of emission and damage to the environment. We've had that for more than 100 years. So we have to take advantage of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To counter the dangerous emissions and pollution from coal, one billion trees have been planted in this state over the last five years. Under big plans they want to cover a third of this territory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is called (inaudible), in English would means green garden. All these 12,000 village local bodies. I've amended it to have, (inaudible) each minimum for the greening of the staple become a movement in this place. Through legislation and also (inaudible), local people and participants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Air pollution and emissions are being tackled on the streets too. Electric buses are being introduce and the state has big plans to become the electric vehicle capital of India. RAJA GAYAM, FOUNDER AND CEO OF GAYAM MOTORWORKS: Telangana has all

the resources to develop as a center of electric vehicle revolution. So the government has brought in various incubators which is encouraging innovation among startups.

[03:55:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2015, the Gayam brothers develop their first electric tuktuks. A three wheeler that's very popular on the streets of India. Today, they have sold thousands across the country, and the world, and have Amazon, Ikea, and Uber among their clients.

GAYAM: One of the reasons I buy most of the corporates adopt our vehicle is it's not just environmentally friendly, but it's also very economical. So the operation costs for a three wheeler, for an electric three wheeler is only about one seventh that of a petrol three-wheeler. So that's a huge savings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At charging points, it could take several hours to fully charge electric vehicles, but with Gayam's battery swapping solution, pre-charge batteries can be changed over in seconds.

GAYAM: No one wants to wait three or four hours to get their vehicles charge, they would want to get their vehicles refuel in less than one to two minutes. They find swapping to be extremely convenient and that's the reason they're adopting this model.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As income rise, more and more people are buying motorcycles and tuktuks. India has set ambitious targets on electrification of vehicles to address air pollution and CO2 emissions. By 2023 it wants all tuktuks to be electric and all motorcycles to be battery powered, just two years later.

GAYAM: That is a very good ambition to have and I think that's clearly possible. The lifetime for a three wheeler is about five to six years, so that kind of switch could be possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From new innovation and mobility the new sources of energy, India it's not just looking at an energy transition, but an energy transformation. At times during the course of this journey, it looks like a monumental task. That is why I returned to New Delhi to meet the man who has overseen and drive in this transformation, and the national governments vision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are accelerating the face of renewables in a very, very big way. If you look at the trend in the last three to four years it's all renewable, it's all wind, it's all hydro, and therefore, if you look at other three to four years, maybe focusing in cleaning up our cities, you will see a huge fall and better management and will ensure a better management of this cities. The quality of life and improve and I think energy mix will radically change in India.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you think there's a coal curse here, because it's an abundance and it's cheap and it's hard to pull yourself off of that addiction? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coal is abundant in India, it's plenty, it's

large-scale, but it's low quality coal, number one. Number two, it is a function of economics, it's a function of commercial viability, and therefore India's biggest strength is not in coal, but in sun. We are in the (inaudible) one of the biggest disruption that is taking in place right now, in terms of both mobility and in terms of energy and in terms of storage. And I think, in the next two to four years, you will realize that the acceleration towards renewable will be phenomenal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The energy challenge facing India will be daunting. Billions of homes need to be built. Many cities need to be constructed. Billions of people need to get access to transport. It all requires lots of energy. Get it right and it will not only benefit a nation, but can be replicated in other developing countries around the world. You get it wrong, and it will not only have devastating consequences for its people, but potentially our entire planet.