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COP26 Chief Calls On G20 Laggards To Step Up Commitments On 2030 Emission-Reduction; French President Pushes For Green Reforms Ahead Of COP26; Study Depicts The Impact Of Rising Sea Levels; Blood Samples In China Could Be Clue To COVID's Origins; Beijing: Military Drills In Taiwan Strait "Necessary Actions"; U.S. And South Korea Analyzing Pyongyang's Weapons Display. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired October 13, 2021 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, I'm John Vause.

Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, naming and shaming. Wealthy countries not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions, as scientists warn global warming is on track to rise by more than three degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Vital clues to how the coronavirus pandemic began all in a hospital in Wuhan, China. Can Beijing be trusted to share whatever they reveal with the rest of the world?

And after a display of military might in North Korea not seen in years, what did the U.S. and South Korea learn about the North's most advanced weapon systems?

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with John Vause.

VAUSE: It's been called the last-chance saloon, a gathering of world leaders in Glasgow in a few weeks at a U.N. summit on climate change known as COP26. And it seems some countries are doing more in taking the climate emergency more seriously than others.

The head of COP26 called on members of the G20 back in July to significantly increase goals for reducing carbon emissions. Because right now, under the targets agreed to in Paris six years ago, global temperatures are set to rise by more than three degrees by the end of the century.

An increase of 1.5 degrees, which is the current target will still result in extreme weather, longer and hotter heat waves, more intense fire disasters, floods, rising sea levels. Two degrees will be all that and a whole lot more including mass extinction of a number of species.

So, here are the countries that have not increased their commitment to carbon reduction: Australia, China, India, Russia, Brazil and Turkey. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALOK SHARMA, COP26 PRESIDENT: All eyes will be on the G20 leaders meeting at the end of this month. We know we can only tackle climate change if every country plays its parts.

So, I say to those G20 leaders, they simply must step up ahead of COP26.


VAUSE: So, all this began in Paris outside of the 2015 Climate Accords, and that's where the French president is now pushing a green revolution.

CNN's Melissa Bell covering that part of the pressure campaign ahead of COP26.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It was a speech designed to remind the world what will be at stake when its leaders gathered around the table in Glasgow later this month for the COP26 summit.

The president of the COP26 announcing here in Paris on Tuesday that it was about meeting those targets that have been set in Paris back in 2015. But with some G20 countries simply not pulling their weight so far.

Alok Sharma listed those G20 countries that have risen to the challenge that have announced a rise in their carbon emission reduction targets.

And specifically, therefore calling out those countries that have not, urging them to do more. Pointing out that it is 80 percent of the world's carbon emissions that are produced by the leading 20 economies, that is the G20.

Alok Sharma there trying to put pressure he can ahead of that crucial meeting even on the day when the French president was announcing also here in Paris his plans ahead of 2030.

Emmanuel Macron facing a tight election in just six months' time and trying to reconcile on one hand France's commitments to reducing its carbon emissions 35 percent by 2030, is what he's announced. And yet, also trying to bring jobs back to France.

Emmanuel Macron announcing 30 billion euros that will go into that plan, very much aimed at getting him reelected in six months' time but also, more profoundly and perhaps more challenging, still, the idea that can be reconciled on one hand, the move towards a greener France and one that will be bringing jobs home.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


VAUSE: For more than three decades, Bill McKibben has been one of the world's leading environmental activists. He's the founder of and author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.

Bill, great to have you with us again.

BILL MCKIBBEN, FOUNDER, 350.ORG: As always, a real pleasure.

VAUSE: Thank you. Well, France along with the E.U., nine other countries, they've all increased their goals when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. I want you to listen to a little more from the French president on how he tends that to happen, here he is.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): We must wage the battles of innovation and industrialization at the same time. We cannot choose between the two. We have to wage them together and that means that we should put in a lot of public and private funds, because as English-speaking countries say, the winner takes all.



VAUSE: Overall, what do you make of this $35 billion plan? And also, when he says winner takes all, in this crisis, isn't the case that we all win together or we all lose together?

MCKIBBEN: Well, I guess. I suppose it's a good idea to have everybody trying to outdo each other. It very much falls in line with the kind of planning that's going on in the U.S. and this infrastructure bill that Joe Biden is trying to pass. Everybody's finally realizing that we're at the moment when we're actually going to have to push hard.

The one thing that people don't seem to realize is that you have to also shut down the bad stuff. So, in the French context for instance, that means this Big East African Crude Oil Pipeline that total and others are building, it would add enormously to France's climate credibility, if they were shutting down the stuff they shouldn't be doing, as well as finally starting to build out the stuff they should.

VAUSE: And the president of COP26, which is this U.N. Climate Summit to be held in Glasgow in coming weeks, he put a very stark terms, you know, what this emergency is and what we're facing right now, listen to this.


SHARMA: At 1.5 degrees warming, 700 million people will be at risk of extreme heat waves. At two degrees, it'll be two billion. At 1.5 degrees, 70 percent of the world's coral reefs die. At two degrees, they're all gone.

If temperatures continue to rise, we will step through a series of one-way doors, and the end destination of which is climate catastrophe.


VAUSE: So, two degrees is really bad. But what seems to be rarely mentioned is that right now, the planet is heading for an increase in a global average temperature -- increase of those temperatures of just under three degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

MCKIBBEN: That's right. And if that happens, then we're not going to have civilizations like the ones we're used to.

I was actually very glad to hear the president of the COP talking in that language, especially the language about going through one-way doors.

I think it's finally beginning to dawn on our leaders that we have to move very, very quickly here. Politicians are not used to timed tests. They're used to issues that play out over many, many, many decades that you always have another crack at.

But that's not the case here, once the Arctic is melted, no one's got a plan for how you freeze it back up again.

VAUSE: And the chair of the U.K. environmental agency had a warning about failure to prepare for life on a tough new planet, she didn't put it that way but we get the idea. She wrote this in a government report.

While mitigation might save the planet, its adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives. It is adapt or die. With the right approach, we can be safer and more prosperous. So, let's prepare, act and survive.

Adapt or die. I mean, that is dire. And the least wealthy nations have the choice to invest now or not?

MCKIBBEN: Well, I mean, I think the mantra really has to be at this point. You know, adapt to that which you can no longer prevent, but at all costs, prevent that to which you can't adapt.

If we're not able to keep the temperature at some kind of reasonable level below two degrees, then all the money in the world isn't going to allow us to adapt to the changes that are coming.

We got a little sense of that in Europe last week, I mean, the biggest rainstorm in European history, it was dropping seven inches of rain in an hour on an Italian city. There's nothing you can do to prepare for a chaos like that.

VAUSE: Very quickly, a group of climate lawyers is now pushing for the International Criminal Court. They filed a case at the International Criminal Court against the president of Brazil for damage to the Amazon because his policies they say at least have been responsible for much of the recent damage. What do you think about this approach?

MCKIBBEN: Well, I think it's probably one more front that needs to open up in this climate fight. Already there are big legal cases pending against the oil giants for they're lying and covering up of climate change.

And clearly, you know, taking out the Amazon which seems to be Bolsonaro's goal is about as dangerous thing as you could do on an earth with a limited number of huge physical features. The Amazon is one on which all of us depend. And his recklessness really is I would say criminal.

VAUSE: Well, the lawyers are arguing it's a crime against humanity. So, I guess we'll see where that goes. But Bill, as always, thank you, really appreciate you being with us.

MCKIBBEN: Thank you very much. Take care.

VAUSE: So, if the planet does warm three degrees Celsius above pre- industrial levels, high tide and rising sea levels could impact more than 800 million people.

A new study says 15 major coastal cities like Shanghai, home to 27 million people now, will need to take unprecedented measures as sea levels rise.

Senior Meteorologist is Tyler Mauldin has more now on what this looks like and what those unprecedented measures might actually be, Tyler.


TYLER MAULDIN, CNN SENIOR METEOROLOGIST: You know, John, I could tell this entire story with just this one image behind me. In blue, you see the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and in white, you see the global temperature both are increasing at an increasing rate.

Two of the sectors leading the charge on the greenhouse gas emissions are the transportation sector, and also, the electricity sector. What do they have in common? Fossil fuels. And some of the countries that will be most impacted by climate change are low income countries that are increasing their production of coal powered electricity.

So far, the earth has warmed to 1.2 degrees Celsius, since pre- industrial time. The goal is 1.5 degrees Celsius. And the IPCC says if we exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius, there will be detrimental impacts.

So, you can imagine how bad it would be if we get to three degrees Celsius. With a warming climate, there's some evidence that we'll see increased frequency of strong tornado events, and hurricanes. There's pretty strong evidence about drought and heavy rain events, but definitely the heat waves in the coastal flooding, we will see that.

And we've been seeing the sea level rise increase each and every decade. We're now at five millimeters per year. And you can see what would happen, let's say in Mumbai, you can see all of the water inundating in the area and then here in London, all this area would be underwater. In New York City, the Statue of Liberty would almost be underwater. But John, it goes beyond just the sea level rise, extreme weather

events will increase in frequency as well. And just last year in the United States alone, John, we had the most billion-dollar disasters on record.

VAUSE: 18 storms, something like that. $8 billion and more each. Tyler, thank you, appreciate it.

MAULDIN: Got it.

VAUSE: U.K. government has defended its early handling of the pandemic, after a parliamentary report found the response to be slow and reactive, leading to one of the worst public health failures in the country's history.

A statement of a government spokesperson said thanks to a collective national effort, we avoided NHS services becoming overwhelmed and our phenomenal vaccination program has built a wall of defense with over 24.3 million infections prevented, more than 130,000 lives saved so far. And the government is also promising a full public inquiry next year.

A vital clue to where COVID-19 came from could be sitting in a Chinese hospital. As many as 200,000 blood samples taken in Wuhan two years ago, China says it will start testing them soon but when and how? And how much will Beijing really actually reveal?

Here's CNN's Nick Paton Walsh.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ground zero for the illness sparking global unease.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is likely a brand new viral pneumonia.

WALSH: It is perhaps the last publicly known clue to where coronavirus came from. But will the world ever learn the truth of what it says? Tens of thousands of tiny blood samples taken in Wuhan in the last months of 2019 are still stored in a hospital there.

MAUREEN MILLER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGIST: The samples from the blood bank absolutely will contain vital clues.


YANZHONG HUANG, PROFESSOR, SETON HALL UNIVERSITY: This is the closest to the word (PH) we've seen of real time samples.

WALSH: The samples might reveal when and even where antibodies against the virus first appeared in humans in October or November two years ago. China says they had to be kept for legal reasons for two years in case

of lawsuits over the blood transfusions they are from. But now, that limit is almost up for the key months at the end of 2019. And a Chinese official confirmed to CNN that China is preparing to test them. Echoing a promise from July when they said they would share the results.

Related institutions from the Chinese side, he says, also express that once they have the results, they will deliver them to both the Chinese and foreign expert teams.

The samples come from the disposable tubes that carry donor blood into the donor bag, and it's something that WHO team said earlier this year they wanted to examine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you found the origins of the coronavirus?

WALSH: They could contain vital detailed information.

HUANG: Might also help us to follow the trajectory of the spread of the virus, you know, by tracking the individuals who may carry the virus.

SCHAFFNER: And you would like to go back to find out exactly during which month this virus started to leave fingerprints in the human population in China.

MILLER: It is common practice to de-identify the samples. So, you could strip it down to basic demographics, age, gender, neighborhood where they lived, all of those data will be available.


WALSH: (on-camera): But the same problem emerges again, it will be China and China alone, doing the testing and reporting their results. The U.S.'s recent report into the origins of the coronavirus and statements from allies have all demanded greater transparency from China.

But now, this key data is being examined a full two years later. And there's no plan as it stands for outsiders like the WHO to be allowed in on it.

HUANG: In order to make it convincing and credible the results, I mean, ideally, you want to involve, you know, the WHO and all the foreign experts.

MILLER: I'm not completely certain that China has not done this testing and has not shared the results.

SCHAFFNER: What we always say is trust but verify. It truly would be better if the Chinese scientists would permit external scientists to be with them to collaborate to do this all together.

WALSH (voice-over): But instead, this vital remaining clue risks being mired in recriminations and uncertainty again. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Up next, Mainland China again stoking tensions with Taiwan, describing recent military exercises and incursions as necessary to defend national sovereignty.

Also, Kim Jong-un wants an invincible military for North Korea and the U.S. and South Korea just got a good look at how he plans to do that.


VAUSE: Authorities now tracking three rivers of lava from a volcano which continues to erupt in La Palma in the Canary Islands. One is moving quickly towards the Atlantic Ocean.

These are the live images from La Palma right now. 18 minutes past five in the morning. If lava does reach the sea, the dangers what's called Laze, a chemical reaction, which could cause the release of toxic gases. Lava is also heading towards a neighborhood forcing hundreds of more people to evacuate.

Also, a cement factory caught fire on Monday when it was engulfed by the red-hot lava. Much more on the volcano and the threat next hour, a live report coming from Spain.

Mainland China again wrapping up its rhetoric as tensions flare with Taiwan. According to Chinese state media, one official is now calling military exercises in the Taiwan Strait "Necessary actions to defend national sovereignty". And by national sovereignty, read a warning against Taiwanese independence.

CNN's Will Ripley has more now on the strained relations. He reports in from Taipei.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Forceful words from the head of the world's largest one-party state. China's president saying a reunification of China and Taiwan "will definitely be achieved".


RIPLEY: Taiwan's president firing back, pledging not to bow to pressure. This as the island shows its military might, days after Taiwan's defense ministry said nearly 150 Chinese war planes flew over four days in its air defense zone.

Tensions between the two governments may be reaching a boiling point, but they've been brewing for decades, and a complex relationship that began with war.

In 1949, the previous Chinese government fled to Taiwan after a brutal civil war with the communists. Those communists set up what is now the People's Republic of China. Both sides claimed they were the true authority of the island. Then,

came decades of hostility with no travel, trade, or even communication between the two sides.

In the 1990s, relations between Beijing and Taipei began to thaw. Authorities put aside the issue of sovereignty in favor of more economic and cultural cooperation.

Still, China insisted Taiwan was a breakaway province that must eventually be reunited with the Mainland, even if that means by force.

In Taiwan, two parties began to form, one that was more aligned with the People's Republic of China. Another, in favor of complete independence.

In 2016, the Pro-Independence Party nominee Tsai Ing-Wen was elected president of Taiwan. Since then, relations started to deteriorate again.

China started using its massive economic power against the much smaller democratic island of about 24 million people.

In 2018, they pressured international companies to consider Taiwan part of China and threatened to crack down on the business of anyone that didn't comply.

Meanwhile, the U.S. which has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan showed commitment to the islands defense and to preserving peace in the western Pacific. That has been incensing Beijing, which believes Taiwan has no right to its own diplomacy.

In the past, China has stopped short of a full-scale military invasion. But every Chinese leader since the current government's founder, Mao Zedong, has vowed to take control of Taiwan.

Now, with China's President Xi Jinping renewing his vows to bring the two together.

Taiwan's fate hangs in the balance.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


VAUSE: Still unclear why North Korea decided to show the world some of its most advanced weapons systems at Monday so called defense exhibit in Pyongyang.

But regardless, it's given intelligence agents analyst in both the U.S. and South Korea. A much closer look at the North rapidly developing technology. Attracting a lot of attention was what the North claimed to be its new hypersonic missile tested last month. (INAUDIBLE) while the North says is an SLBM, a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Officially, the exhibit was used as a backdrop for Kim Jong-un to deliver a speech marking the 76th anniversary of the North Korean Workers' Party.

Surrounded by missiles and other weapons, he said North Korea wanted to prevent war and the country was building an invincible military because of aggression from the U.S. and a hypocritical South Korea.

Bruce Klingner was the CIA deputy division chief for Korea. He is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He is with us from Silver Spring in Maryland.

Bruce, thank you for being with us.


VAUSE: This might be the sort of biggest public display of firepower the North Koreans have staged since Kim Jong-un took over from his father, which does raise the question why now? What's the goal here? Who's the audience?

KLINGNER: The last several years North Korea has been very transparent in revealing the existence of in the details of a number of its missile system. But mostly, through videos or photos that they release of the launches, or there were two very large military parades last October and this January. So, this was unusual in that it was like a defense exhibition. But they've been much more revealing of the capabilities and the existence of these missile system.

VAUSE: Yes, when North Korea says they've developed something or they've done something, usually it turns out to be quite accurate in the end or close to it at least.

And in the past, they did missile launches and the nuclear tests, they've been ways of getting attention to try and negotiate sanction concessions, that kind of thing.

The Biden administration already offered talks with Pyongyang anywhere, anytime. Kim rejected that. And on Monday, he said this, the U.S. has been frequently sending signals that they are not hostile towards our country. But there is no single evidence that they are not hostile.

Just a little confusing, there's no evidence the U.S. is hostile either. So, where is all this heading and you know, as far as Kim Jong-un is concerned?

KLINGNER: Well, Kim has been exhibiting and revealing a number of common themes the last several speeches, as well as this one, bragging about North Korea's strength even in the face of international sanctions. To ask his scientists to continue to go down the to do list of developing and testing new systems.


KLINGNER: We've had five new systems revealed in 2019, we had three new systems or four new systems tested just last month. But still on the to do list are a space launch satellite, two new submarine launched ballistic missiles that were created last year.

And then, the very large ICBM which we assess likely has multiple warheads. Up till now, all the ICBMs they've tested have been single warhead.

So, if any kind of SLBM or ICBM test would really ratchet up tensions on the Peninsula and force the U.S. and the international community to respond more strongly than they have to the shorter or medium range missiles that have been tested during the last several years.

VAUSE: Some have taken a close look at this Self-Defense exhibit 2021 in Pyongyang, and they've taken a close look at the North new hypersonic missile. And they've noted it's very similar in appearance to China's DF-17 hypersonic missile, which was unveiled a couple of years ago.

Do you see a similarity there? And if so, what does that mean? And overall, in terms of military technology and development, what stood out to you?

KLINGNER: Well, there's a common misperception that North Korea can't possibly produce very complicated either nuclear weapons or missiles so that they must be getting things from either Russia or China.

But really, these programs have been indigenous. They do need foreign technology, foreign components, but they're really indigenous programs.

So, they may get a missile or parts from Russia or China or elsewhere, that they then reverse engineer, but they do tend to develop their own missiles.

So, all the capabilities have been increasing greatly, particularly since Kim Jong-un came into power. He's tested numerous atomic weapons as well as a hydrogen bomb, a much larger nuclear weapon, and then a wide spectrum of missiles of all ranges, including those that can threaten the entire continental of the United States with nuclear weapons.

VAUSE: Very quickly, how worried were you by these images?

KLINGNER: Well, I've been following it for quite some time, but I'm increasingly worried about their capabilities and what their objectives are. I think they go beyond simply deterring because the U.S. never attacked North Korea when they -- even before they have nuclear weapons.

So, there's a concern that they will be used to coerce or intimidate our allies or to threaten the United States.

VAUSE: Bruce, thank you. We really appreciate your insights and being with us. Thank you.

KLINGNER: Thank you for having me.

VAUSE: Well, after a peaceful protest were crushed by Myanmar's military rulers, the resistance is now turning to violence. Details ahead.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. I'm John Vause. You're, watching CNN NEWSROOM.


The European Union has promised more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. In a virtual meeting of G-20 leaders, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the world's wealthiest countries must address the economic and humanitarian crisis, even if it means working with the Taliban.

And outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel had this stark warning.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We all have nothing to gain, if the entire monetary system, or financial system in Afghanistan collapses because that means that humanitarian aid can no longer be provided.

Of course, it's not always easy to draw the line. But to watch 40 million people fall into chaos because neither electricity can be supplied, nor financial system exists, that cannot and must not be the aim of the international community.


VAUSE: International aid to Afghanistan has mostly been on hold since the Taliban takeover in August. The country's foreign reserves are frozen, and unemployment, as well as food prices, are surging.

Myanmar's ousted president says the military tried to force him to resign hours before February's coup, but he refused. Win Myint's first public comments came Tuesday at his joint trial with civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on charges of incitement.

Meantime, months of peaceful protests against the coup now giving way to increasingly violent resistance.

CNN's Ivan Watson, live in Hong Kong with details. They tried the peaceful way, but nowhere, I guess, so this is now where they're heading.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, towards an outright conflict. And you've got the United Nations commissioner for human rights, in the last week, issuing a warning, saying that they have reports, alarming reports of large numbers of troops and heavy weaponry moving into northwest Myanmar, which has been the scene of really intense reported fighting between assorted different opposition groups and the military, and two senior officers being sent there, too.

So they're really concerned, also about reports of villages being burned, houses been burned, as a kind of collective punishment from the military against communities seen to be supporting the opposition.

And in the meantime, in some of the big cities, since the coup on February 1, I've been in touch with people who had white-collar jobs, university students, who have undergone a nightmarish evolution since then, who are not telling me that they're participating in planting bombs and planning assassinations, all activities that none of these people tell me they could have imagined doing on the eve of the February 1st coup.


WATSON (voice-over): Seven months after the military overthrew Myanmar's elected government, resistance to the junta has grown increasingly violent. The opposition waging a campaign of bombings, assassinations, and infrastructure sabotage. Destroying cell phone towers, for example, apparently belonging to a telecommunications company partly owned by the Myanmar military.

(on camera): Have you, yourself, planted any bombs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a couple of times.

WATSON (voice-over): This man, who asks not to be identified, once organized peaceful, anti-military protests but now calls himself a guerrilla fighter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It used to be holding protest signboards. Now it's about using explosives, sometimes even guns, for our own safety.

WATSON: In fact, when I first interviewed him in March, he rejected violence.

(on camera): Do you support violent attacks on the military?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not at all.

WATSON (voice-over): For weeks after the February 1st coup, opposition demonstrators staged colorful, peaceful protests. But the military cracked down hard, shooting at protesters by day, arresting them in their homes at night.

As the death toll swelled to estimates of more than 1,100, the once peaceful protester says he embraced armed resistance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm no longer the same person I was before. It's just about six months ago. And I think that applies for everyone in this country.

WATSON: The army general who declared himself Myanmar's ruler, calls the insurgents terrorists.

MIN AUNG HLAING, MYANMAR MILITARY CHIEF (voice-over): Extremists and their supporters chose the act of terrorism. Instead of doing or solving it in line with the law, they incited anarchy and committed armed insurrection. WATSON: Military-run media claim the opposition carried out more than

2000 bomb attacks, and killed nearly 800 people in the last seven months.

On September 7, Myanmar's opposition government in exile endorsed the many small cells of armed resistance that have cropped up, calling on them to attack the military regime.


NYI THUTA, FORMER MYANMAR MILITARY CAPTAIN: This is a war, because our military created war.

WATSON: Until late February, Nyi Thuta was a captain in the Myanmar military. But he says the slaughter of civilians pushed him to defect.

WATSON (on camera): When you see these videos of a bomb exploding next to soldiers, how does that make you feel?

THUTA: I feel sick, but we do not fight them, because they are killing our people.

WATSON: Now a wanted man, the former officer says he doesn't fight in the streets, but instead resists the regime online, on weekly Zoom calls like this, during which he urges members of the security force to quit.

The guerrilla fighter I talked to estimates more than 50 people he knows in the opposition movement have been captured or killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of my colleagues are either dead or in prison. I'm still lucky to be alive, but I don't know when that luck's going to run out.

WATSON: The stakes for these would-be revolutionaries could not be higher.


WATSON: And John, the use of Zoom here is really remarkable. I just spoke with a man who says he was an army sergeant who defected a month ago, in part because he listened to those weekly Zoom calls conducted by that defector captain. And it helped prompt him to defect. And then he says he appeared on the weekly Zoom call on Sunday, urging more of his compatriots to defect.

As the fighting goes on, you do still have the military's trial of the leaders of the elected government that it overthrew on February 1. So the overthrown president appeared in court on Tuesday.

His defense attorney tells CNN that in court, he testified that on the early morning hours of February 1, senior army officers came into his room, told him to resign on the grounds of ill health, and he refused to do so, saying he'd rather die than give up his post -- John.

VAUSE: Ivan, thank you. Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson, live in Hong Kong.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, with Europe in the grip of an energy crunch, what are the options to alleviate the impact from the surging costs of oil and natural gas?


VAUSE: The IMF has revised downwards its forecast of global economic growth this year, mostly because of supply chain issues caused by the pandemic.

Its new outlook is down from 6 percent to 5.9 percent this year. It may not seem like a lot, but it really is, and it has a big impact. The 2022 outlook remains unchanged.


GITA GOPINATH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, IMF: The global recovery continues, but the momentum is weekend, hobbled by the pandemic. Fueled by the highly-transmissible Delta variant, the global COVID-19 death toll has risen close to 5 million, and health risks abound, holding back a full return to normalcy.


VAUSE: And the IMF cited disruptions to supply chains as a reason for lowering the outlook for U.S. growth, cut by 1 percentage point to 6 percent. That's the largest reduction for any G-7 economy in this latest outlook.

A massive energy crunch is threatening to slow Europe's economic recovery. The European Commission is set to release a guide on how countries can fight skyrocketing gas prices.

CNN's Anna Stewart has a closer look at what's causing the crisis.


ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) Heating homes, cooking food, and fueling industry. Europe depends on natural gas for its energy needs. The E.U. imports 90 percent of it, leaving the bloc vulnerable to a surge in prices over the last few months.

It's a classic case of supply and demand. As economies roar back to life, post-pandemic, and need more fuel, demand goes up. On the supply side, a long winter depleted gas reserves, and weak solar and wind outputs during the summer meant alternatives weren't able to fill the gap.

(on camera): The effects are particularly clear here in the U.K., where at least nine energy suppliers went bust, just in September. One energy CEO told me many more could be at risk.

BILL BULLEN, CEO, UTILITA ENERGY: I think Warren Buffett famously said something like, when the tide goes out, you get to see someone (ph) naked. And you know, certainly, some of those energy suppliers didn't forward hedge their positions, and consequently, we're now seeing them buying energy at an extraordinarily high price from the stock market. And consequently, they're failing.

STEWART (voice-over): Countries including Spain, France, Italy, and Greece have already announced measures to protect consumers from the spike in prices. But what's really needed to bring prices down is more fuel, even if it damages countries' climate targets.

HENNING GLOYSTEIN, DIRECTOR OF ENERGY, CLIMATE AND RESOURCES AT EURASIA GROUP: A lot of countries across Europe are quietly put -- switching on coal fire power stations again that have been mothballed in the last few years, because you know, rather run something dirty than run out of electricity.

STEWART: Gas is a cleaner option, and it's possible more could be on the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For over 30 years, Gazprom has been a reliable gas supplier to the countries of Europe.

STEWART: President Vladimir Putin says Russia could export more gas, amidst accusations Europe's biggest supplier has been withholding exports to keep prices high.

This offer, though, may have strings attached.

GLOYSTEIN: They might be pumping less supply to Europe, because they want to support Nord Stream's new pipeline, which is ready going into Germany, but it's not approved yet. And they have been sending less gas through the pipelines going through Ukraine to Europe.

STEWART (on camera): Would approving Nord Stream 2, the new pipeline, would that solve the issue?

GLOYSTEIN: Probably not. Just the regulatory process will take several months. And even if you got approved right now, which it won't, it's several weeks till the gas will be fully piped through the system, arrive in Europe to make a difference.

STEWART (voice-over) One of the simplest solutions to the gas crisis is out of policymakers' control. A mild winter would ease prices.

Within their control, speeding up the transition to cleaner energy sources, without leaving consumers still reliant on gas, out in the cold.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


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