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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Global Climate Crisis Pledges; State Of Emergency In Ethiopia; Mexico Femicide Protest. Aired 6-6:30p ET

Aired November 02, 2021 - 18:00   ET




I'm Bianca Nobilo in London.

Making headlines tonight, big pledges and big money. But will the promises at COP26 fall short?

Then, Ethiopia declares a state of emergency. The justice minister warning the country faces grave danger.

And demonstrators marched against femicide in Mexico. We speak to activists on the ground.

World leaders are about to head home from the COP26 summit in Glasgow after fashioning two major agreements to combat climate change.

But, first, moderating methane. More than 80 nations pledged to cut almost one-third of methane emissions by 2030. It's one of the most damaging

greenhouse gases.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this pledge is the lowest hanging fruit to stop climate change. But the world's top greenhouse

gas emitter, China, hasn't even signed on.

The second agreement: saving the forests. More than 100 nations pledged to halt and reverse deforestation also by 2030. Those countries have 85

percent of the world's woodlands, which generate oxygen, and capture carbon.

And they include Brazil, which under President Bolsonaro has seen massive spikes in Amazon clearing. Still, Colombia's president called the pledge

historic, while Madagascar's president warned failure is not an option.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned his fellow world leaders he will keep them to their pledges, telling them we have your numbers. But he

also faces daunting problems, causing fossil fuels in his own country.

And our Christiane Amanpour asked Johnson about that challenge.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I asked all the leaders who I talked to -- well, what are you doing to show that you are

credible and that your nation is credible in these pledges? And it's not just rhetoric, that it's reality?

So, as you know, better than I do, there are coal fields planned for -- coal digging plans for Cambria, in this country. And would you say that at

this point, given everything you're saying to me now, you would intervene to stop that?

BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I -- I don't have the legal powers. That's something for local planning.

AMANPOUR: But local planning has already ruled on it. It's come back to the government.

JOHNSON: What we're already saying, and if you look at what's already happened in the U.K. is -- we have moved away from coal at an extraordinary

speed. The story of U.K. coal -- don't forget what happened in our country. We had -- when I was -- when I was a kid, we had 80 percent of our power

came from coal. And when I was mayor of London, when you first interviewed -- when you interviewed me last time, it was 40 percent, right?

So, between that interview, Christiane, and this one, we've gone from 40 percent to less than 1 percent in a space of two interview.

AMANPOUR: Less than 1 percent?

JOHNSON: Less than 1 percent, it's roughly -- it's roughly that. And it's going to go down to zero by 2024.


AMANPOUR: So, why not just (INAUDIBLE) goodwill, after this summit that you're hosting and after you're saying, because I understand it's come back

to the government, the minister in charge.

JOHNSON: Because we are legal -- legally scrupulous and punctilious country, and there is a planning decision that has to be taken. But I'm not

the planning authority. But I --

AMANPOUR: But it is your government.

JOHNSON: But I don't want more coal and our government doesn't want more coal.

AMANPOUR: Would you be willing to stop it?

JOHNSON: We'll do what's legally - what we are legally able to do. But this is a planning decision. And if you look at the reality, the reality is

we have powered past coal.


NOBILO: CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir has traveled to some of the world's most endangered places, seeing the impacts of climate change

firsthand. And he's in Glasgow for the summit, and has been watching the proceedings for us.

Bill Weir, thank you so much for being with us tonight. Welcome to the program.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Bianca. Great to be with you.

NOBILO: So many things that I want to ask you. Let's start with how these pledges actually stack up to what scientists say are required in order to

protect the earth, and who is going to hold the countries accountable to this pledge.

WEIR: That is the multi trillion dollar question. Scientists tell us that in order to hit that 1.5 trillion target, the world needs to decarbonize

out a rate 7 times of what they are pledging even now. So, it brings to mind the old Chinese proverb, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years

ago. The second best time is now.

And so, you have to take any efforts as a sign of hope, the queen who welcomed everyone here to the U.K. said, humanity is able of great things

when they come together. But the caveats are countries like China, which refuses even to commit to 1.5. They say they want to keep it below 2.0.

The difference in that half degree means pretty much the end of coral reefs, an extra 50 million deaths just from air pollution, twice the floods

and droughts. So, every little bit helps. But, there is no international climate court, you know, to hold Brazil accountable if huge swaths of the

Amazon disappear, or if China refuses to get off of coal.


This is ultimately humanity together realizing that we are on this little blue marble floating through space with limited resources, and how we use

them in the next 10 years will determine the fate of everything.

NOBILO: And, Bill, I'm sure you have been listening with great interest this week to hearing leaders from countries that are very vulnerable to

climate change. Of course, we're all vulnerable to climate change. I mean, facing an imminent and existential crisis.

Let's take a listen to what the president of Palau said at the summit.


SURANGEL WHIPPS JR., PALAUAN PRESIDENT: Frankly speaking, there is no dignity to a slow and painful death. You might as well bomb our islands

instead of making us suffer only to witness are slow and faithful demise. Leaders of the G20, we are drowning, and our only hope is that life ring

you are holding.


NOBILO: Bill, do you think that giving these leaders a global megaphone in making sure everybody hears that message will have an impact?

WEIR: We certainly hope so. That is the cruelty of this crisis, is that the young will pay for the sins of their ancestors, the poor will pay for

the sins of the wealthy countries there, I was just in -- filming in Charleston, South Carolina, where sea level rises, they have a billion

dollar seawall, people are raising million dollar mentions 8 feet to live through the next half century or so.

People in Palau, Vanuatu, Bangladesh, they can't afford these things. And so, it's the moral responsibility, the hundred billion dollar a year fund

that has been promised and yet not paid by rich countries, the president of Palau would like to see that go to up to $4 trillion as a much more just

way. It's the only way really.

And there is a real game of politics playing up between China's built-in road initiative, they are going into all of these countries looking for

rare minerals for example. And they offered to build an airport, a road, finance it, meanwhile the United States is saying do not get into bed with

those folks, come on the clean side of these conference parties, and we will help you develop it in another way. All of it is very complicated.

NOBILO: Bill Weir, thank you so much. I heard you say earlier today that one of your dad's favorite quotes was you could judge somebody how they

behave when no one is watching, when it comes to the accountability of all of these nations. And now, the world is watching, and hopefully, they keep

their word. Thanks so much.

WEIR: Yeah.

NOBILO: Another agreement at the COP26 Summit wrapped up today, the first of its kind. The U.S., U.K., and Europe are now promising to help South

Africa step away from coal. South Africa is highly dependent on it, and hundreds of thousands of its people rely on jobs in that sector, even if it

means risking their lives, as CNN's David McKenzie reports.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, we are going deep into this mine. It's a disused mine. But coal is so important in this country that even the

old mines, people will go down like this, in dangerous conditions, and get what they can.

(voice-over): What Anthony Bonginkosi can get just $3 for a bag of coal to support his grandmother and sister. Here they work with little ventilation

for life. If they get trapped, no one will come to help.

ANTHONY BONGINKOSI, ARTISANAL MINER: We have lost a lot of them others with the collapse of the mine, others with the gases that came underground.

MCKENZIE: That's dangerous work.

BONGINKOSI: Yes. Yes. When you inhale that gas you want even more given 50 steps or 10 steps you just collapse. If you come, won't come.

MCKENZIE: So why do you still do it?

BONGINKOSI: I don't have a choice because I have to save my hunger. And not only me, those who follow me. I may die alone here. But what about

those who, who are depending on me.


WEIR: You can watch David McKenzie's full report on CNN .com.

For more positive news in the fight against climate change, Greenland says it is taking a first step in joining the Paris agreement. The

semiautonomous Danish territory is not committing to any targets for reducing emissions for now, but it's already planning to make good use of

its massive water power potential.

World leaders --


METTE FREDERIKSENM, DANISH PRIME MINISTER: Greenland has taken an important step to halt all new oil and gas exploration licenses. In a few

years, 90 percent of electricity produced in Greenland will be sustainable. The prime minister of Greenland has informed me on the government's

decision to enter the Paris agreement.

Ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to choose our future. A brighter, greener future for the generations to come.


NOBILO: World leaders are not the only ones making commitments in Glasgow.


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who is worth more than the GDP of most countries is pledging $2 billion to help restore nature. He says his recent Blue

Origin flight to space has a lot to do with it.


JEFF BEZOS, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AMAZON: I was told that seeing the earth from space changes the limbs through which you view the world. I was not

prepared for just how much that would be true. Looking back at Earth from up there, the atmosphere seems so thin, the world so finite and so fragile.

Now, in this critical year, in what we all know is the decisive decade, we must all stand together to protect our world.


NOBILO: Ethiopia's justice minister says the country is facing a grave danger to its very existence, defending a new nationwide state of

emergency. The extraordinary measures took effect immediately, reflecting the government's deep alarm over its escalating war with forces from the

Tigray region. These forces are now threatening to advance on the capital Addis Ababa. Authorities there have ordered residents to prepare to defend

their neighborhoods.

The conflict has been going on for months. The situation has drastically worsened in just the past few days.

I asked my colleague Larry Madowo what's changed.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, this state of emergency as a major development just days before the conflict in Tigray and the north of

the country turns a year old. This means that the next thing is a scramble to protect the capital. The Tigray people's liberation front claims to have

taken two major towns, and could advance into the south which would be extremely a year after the conflict began. And the U.S. is warning that

there needs to be a change of course in this conflict in days not weeks.

This is U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, speaking in D.C.

JEFFREY FELTMAN, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HORN OF AFRICA: It is worrisome to see a continuation of military advances by the TPLF, airstrikes by the

government against targets in Tigray that will only increase the human suffering when in the end, there is going to have to be talks. So, the

sooner we get to talks, the better, the fewer people will suffer in Tigray and Amhara the closer we get to talks.

MADOWO: Bianca, President Biden signed an executive order back in September threatening sanctions against Ethiopia (INAUDIBLE). Now it is

time to see some stronger actions against a government of Ethiopia, the people who practice the conflict in Tigray, the U.S. has warned that by

January 1st if there is no change of direction, if it does not begin to respect internationally acceptable human rights, then it will be pulled out

of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

This is a major trade agreement that allows Ethiopia and many African countries to export duty free into the U.S. market. The Ethiopian

government claims that if that were to happen, it would hurt ordinary people. And a statement it said, we are extremely disappointed by the

threat of AGOA withdrawal currently under consideration by the U.S. government, these actions will reverse significant economic gains in our

country, and unfairly impact and harm women and children. At the same time, we are expecting on Wednesday a report, a joint investigation from the

United Nations, and the Cuban Human Rights Commission, Bianca.


NOBILO: Our Larry Madowo reporting for us there.

Let's take a look at other key stories making international impact today. Emergency crews in Lagos are following the faint sound of voices rescuing

people trapped inside this collapsed high-rise. So far, nine people have been pulled out alive, at least 14 others killed. The building was under

construction when it collapsed, with dozens of workers inside.

France says it won't apply custom sanctions against the U.S. over fishing rights for now, even though it said that it would. A minister said this

will be room for negotiations. France accuses the U.K. of not handing out enough fishing licenses as was agreed and a post-Brexit deal.

Palestinian families facing the threat of eviction in Jerusalem Sheik Jarrah neighborhood have been rejected -- have rejected a proposal from

Israel's top court. It's suggested they remain in their homes for 15 years as quote, protected tenants, while paying rent to a Jewish settler

organization. They would have also had to recognize the groups claim to the land where their families lived for decades. Palestinians say the proposal

nearly delayed an attempt to confiscate their land.

Turning now to the coronavirus pandemic. German medivac planes are transporting severely ill patients out of Romania for intensive care.

Romania has no available ICU beds, and deaths and infection rates are soaring.


Only 37 percent of adults there are fully vaccinated, skepticism runs deep because of widespread misinformation and distrust in the government.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., CDC vaccine advisers have unanimously voted to recommend Pfizer vaccines for children ages 5 to 11. Now, the final step

before U.S. kids can start receiving the shot's approval from CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. She has signaled her support citing a study that

shows the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any risks in the age group.

When it comes to journalists killings, more killers go free than not. Up next, a series of violence crimes targeting our colleagues in Mexico.

Details in a moment

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police don't investigate, they don't follow up, and so, what happens is the states sort of almost functions as an enabler.


NOBILO: The intentional murders of sisters, wives, daughters and friends. Now, people take to the streets to demand justice in Mexico.


NOBILO: Working in the media can at times be a very dangerous profession. Nowhere has that being reinforced more than in Mexico, where in just the

past week, two journalists have been murdered. Radio broadcaster Fredy Lopez Arevalo was shot dead in his home in the southern state of Chiapas.

And Acapulco photojournalist Alfredo Cardoso was pulled from his home by mass gunman, and shot multiple times. He later died in hospital.

No suspects have been arrested for either crime. Crimes like these are often never solved in Mexico.

Jan-Albert Hootsen is the Mexico representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is live for us in Mexico City.

Jan, thanks for joining us today.

I mean, it's just so shocking as a journalist sitting here in the United Kingdom not having to worry about any of this, to hear what is happening to

our colleagues. Can you give our international viewers a sense of the extent of the danger and the fear that journalists and perhaps yourself

live with in Mexico?

JAN-ALBERT HOOTSEN, MEXICO REPRESENATIVE, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALIST: Well, Mexico is by far, the deadliest and most dangerous country for

journalists in the Western hemisphere. And to give you an idea, for the past 2 or 3 years, we have on average approximately 10 murders of

reporters, a large chunk of them we have not been able to confirm as a journalist and last and 5 percent actually have them prosecuted and lead to

a conviction. So, for journalist, it's incredibly difficult and very easy unfortunately to kill journalist and getting away with it in Mexico.

NOBILO: And, Jan, who are murdering these journalists? What patterns do you see?

HOOTSEN: We see -- usually the patterns that these journalists work for smaller, local outlets in Mexico, and are very often targeted by criminal

gangs but not exclusively by criminal gangs.


Very often, there are also politicians or policeman involved who are in one way or another colluding with these gangs. Meaning, that journalists are

not attacked by those who are supposed to protect them, but they have nowhere to turn to, nowhere to run to.

NOBILO: And what, if anything, can be done given the state of the violence in the country? As you mention, the impunity when it comes to these crimes,

the fact that many of these cases, most of them, are never solved. Sometimes it swept to families to go investigate them themselves.

So, without that justice, and with that impunity, there is also no deterrence for this problem to stop.

HOOTSEN: Well, that's exactly right. I think impunity is key in Mexico. Impunity is basically a series of errors or mistakes or failures by the

Mexican state and definitely have something to look at. The Mexican government has to invest much more in the police, in prosecutors. They must

be able to provide quality investigations and actually show political will to prosecute these crimes.

And so, for the Mexican government, in the past 20 to 30 years, has been proven utterly incapable and unwilling to do so. So, that's where they have

to make a start.

NOBILO: And do you have any sense that the political will is building? That there are changes in terms of the political establishment and their

approach in this and desire to protect the media in their country so they could have a very important pillar of democracy?

HOOTSEN: Unfortunately I don't believe that that's the case in Mexico right now. The current government and president, Andres Manuel Lopez

Obrador, even though they have committed themselves verbally to protecting freedom of expression and protecting journalists, they have been woefully

inadequate in doing so. I think the situation exacerbated by the fact that the president himself has been very critical of journalists. He has

attacked journalist verbally and he has shown very little interest in actually making the situation better for them. So, the Mexican government

really has to step up.

NOBILO: And, Jan, given these tragic murder, threats, the fear in which journalists in Mexico operate, do you notice that it is putting off the

next generation or journalists are leaving the profession out of fear for themselves and families, or are they continuing because they believe in it?

HOOTSEN: Well, yes and no. I mean, it's definitely less attractive for many journalists, students for examples, to get into journalism. At the

same time, on a daily basis, I see incredibly talented young Mexican journalists doing very interesting and very important investigations into

corruption, into abuse of power.

And even though the violence is at an all-time high, it is not enough to deter young Mexicans to continue to go for a career on journalism. But

these journalists have to get more support from the Mexican government, from civil society and the importance of journalism in the Mexican society

needs to be more emphasized by everyone.

NOBILO: Jan-Albert Hootsen, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts today and for what you do for our colleagues in Mexico. Thanks.

HOOTSEN: Thanks for having me.

NOBILO: Mexico also sees major problems with gender based violence specifically femicide, which is defined as the intentional murder of women

because they are women. National statistics show shocking numbers of women killed in Mexico. Nearly 1,000 femicide were reported in 2020. As the

nation celebrates the day of the dead, we saw this group of demonstrators dressed up in traditional Catrina skeleton to bring attention to femicide

and gender based violence.

We spoke to two Mexican women about how these marches came about.


SANDRA SILVA, MEXICAN FEMINIST ACTIVIST: It symbolizes these women that are victims of femicide coming back and seeking justice. It is a way for

their family members to remember them and also call to action for government and society because as feminists, we always say that we need to

name what the problem is and the problem is femicide violence and female violence.

GABRIELA JAUREGUI, MEXICAN AUTHOR, POET AND CRITIC: The idea behind it is that while this is the Day of the Dead celebration, families who have a

family member, a female family member, who has been murdered, have nothing to celebrate. Have nothing but pain and so it's -- the march of the Catrina

started as a cry for justice in the case of Mexico, the state is often complicit by omission or by collusion. In many cases, in many, many cases,

it has been ex police officers, ex military, et cetera who are perpetrators of femicide. And so, the state often protects or does not investigate

because of that.


NOBILO: Honoring those lost is the tradition that unites humanity as people come together not only in mourning but in celebration of their loved

ones who have left this Earth before us.


Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday known as day of the dead, is a century old to the afterlife complete with colorful schools, and marigold

petals, families often build memorials to their deceased loved ones.

In Guatemala, they have tie handwritten messages for the loved ones to the tails of kites as we can see here. We see many Catholics honoring their

dead at this time of year.

In Croatia, families visit cemeteries on All Saints Day or Dan svih svetih, to lay flowers and light candles.

And in India, we see Christians making All Souls Day by laying garlands and candles at the graves of the deceased.

You are watching CNN. We'll be right back after this.


NOBILO: Last week, the executive director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, did not hold back on CNN when calling all billionaires to

step up now on a onetime basis. He said giving $6 billion could help solve world hunger. To put that in perspective, it's just 2 percent of the wealth

of the world's richest man, Elon Musk.

It's not the first time the billionaires have been called out but Musk direct response sparked debate. Elon Musk responded on Twitter writing: If

WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stocks right now and do it.

Beasley's response to that on CNN this morning.


DAVID BEASLEY, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I will show him, we will put it out in front of him, we have all the cost of counting,

public transparency, any and everything that he would ask, we will be glad to answer, and I look forward to having this discussion with him because

lives are at stake.


NOBILO: Social media is naturally divided. Critics say that this is just a PR stunt from Musk and that he'd never pay.

But does Musk have a point? When we're talk -- talking about WFP's billions, shouldn't there be full transparency in accounting and plans to

address the factors contributing to world hunger? He made crystal clear.

Tell me what you think. Tweet me your thoughts @bianca_nobilo. We look forward to hearing those.

But for now, it's good night. See you tomorrow.