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Hostage Negotiations Continue as Gaza Ceasefire Nears End . Released Philippine Hostage Recovers after Hamas Ordeal; All 41 Workers Rescued from Collapsed Tunnel after 17 Days; Documents: UAE Planned to Use Climate Event for Oil Deals. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 29, 2023 - 00:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: At this hour on CNN, hostage negotiations continue as the clock ticks down to the end of a pause in fighting in Gaza. While clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the West Bank escalate, the city of Jenin, the latest deadly flashpoint. And amid so much death and destruction, a search for memories. All that's left for a grandfather after his grandchildren were killed in their sleep as their home collapsed.

Hello everyone, I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. Gaza is now into its sixth and what could be the last day of relative calm with an agreement between Israel and Hamas for a temporary pause in the fighting set to end within 24 hours. The pause has already been extended for two days in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Sources say Hamas has now given Israel another list of names of hostages who are expected to be released in the coming hours.

Hostage negotiations in Doha are ongoing, with all sides agreeing to work towards extending the current truce. A senior official with Hamas told CNN it's pushing for a longer lasting ceasefire, which Israel has described as a non-starter. On Tuesday, the fifth day of the current pause, Hamas released 12 hostages, 10 of them Israelis, who were all women, one of 17-year-old girl. The handover took place at the Rafah crossing on Gaza's southern border with Egypt. Large crowds lined the streets, cheering as the women were paraded by Hamas before they were taken away by the Red Cross.

In a separate deal with the government of Thailand, two Thai nationals were also released by Hamas on Tuesday. So far, 86 of an estimated nearly 250 hostages have been set free. For those who are either at home or on their way there, the return to normality will take time and will not be easy, especially for the children who've been held captive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR EFRAT BRON-HARLEV, CHIEF EXEC. SCHNEIDER CHILDRENS MEDICAL CENTER IN ISRAEL: They came from different places in Gaza and in different times, and of course, different ages. But in general, I can say that they all came very skinny, very pale, lost maybe 10 to 15% of their weight at some times. And not only them, but their mothers as well, the ones that came with them. Other than that, they have some minor wounds, but they will overcome all that.


VAUSE: As part of this deal, 30 more Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons Tuesday, some arriving in the West Bank by bus. All 180 Palestinians released by Israel so far are women and teenagers. Many had been detained without charge. While fighting in Gaza remains for the most part on hold, clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians continue in the West Bank. Overnight, the city of Jenin and its sprawling refugee camp, were the focus of what the IDF says was a counter-terrorism operation.

During that raid, the head of Doctors Without Borders says for two hours, he was trapped inside a hospital alongside other medical staff, prevented from leaving by Israeli troops, who also blocked access to the facility for ambulances. They say that led to the deaths of at least two Palestinians who were in urgent need of medical care. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society says Israeli forces surrounded all three major hospitals in Jenin, searching every ambulance as they arrived and left. And it says they took a special-needs man with a bullet wound in his leg from one ambulance. He was then arrested. Israel has said it will not comment until operations are complete.

The fragile truce in Gaza is holding, despite both sides accusing the other of violating the agreement. Israel says a number of troops were selected and were slightly wounded by three explosive devices which detonated in northern Gaza. There was also a brief exchange in gunfire, Israel says, with Hamas militants. Hamas so blames Israel for starting the clashes, calling for international mediators to pressure Israel to comply with the agreement. When the fighting in Gaza resumes, be it within hours or days, Israeli officials stress the military objectives have not changed.


But U.S. officials are urging Israel to be more precise when targeting Hamas militants as well as Hamas infrastructure. There's been growing outrage over a soaring death toll. Almost 15,000 killed, mostly civilians, in less than two months, according to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza. As CNN's Alex Marquardt reports, senior officials with the Biden administration have been in daily contact with their Israeli counterparts, urging more caution.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: With the pause between Israel and Hamas expected to continue into Wednesday, a sixth day, the question is, what happens then? What does day seven look like? Could Israel start its military operations up in Gaza again, or will Hamas continue to release hostages? The hope by the Biden administration is that the pause does continue and more hostages continue to come out. The quiet goes on for a bit longer, they hope, and more aid goes in, to Gaza to deal with the really catastrophic humanitarian situation.

Tuesday saw the CIA director, Bill Burns, in the Qatari capital, Doha, to work on just that. He has become President Biden's point man on all hostage issues, meeting in Doha with Qatari officials and his Israeli and Egyptian counterparts. Burns' goal was also to try to broaden the negotiations to more than just women and children, and to try to get men and Israeli women out, which everyone agrees will be much more difficult. The Biden administration is also urging Israel that if they start their operations up again militarily in Gaza, which they say they will, to be much more careful, to be more cautious, more surgical and precise, to try to minimize the often-deadly impact on Gazan civilians, most of whom are now displaced. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Barack Ravid is a political and foreign policy analyst, a CNN, as well as a politics and foreign policy reporter with the news website, Axios. Welcome. It's been a busy first day for you. Good to have you with us.

BARAK RAVID, CNN POLITICAL AND FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Thank you. It's great to be on the show.

VAUSE: Okay. So, during a visit to an Israeli intelligence base, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to rule out any possibility that this temporary pause in fighting in Gaza might actually be the beginning of a much longer lasting ceasefire. Here's the Prime Minister.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We are committed to completing our missions, freeing all of the hostages, eliminating this terrorist organization above and below ground, and of course, to ensure that Gaza not return to being what it was, will no longer constitute a threat to the state of Israel.


VAUSE: You know, since October 7, Netanyahu's talked about Hamas being an existential threat to Israel. You know, a nuclear armed Iran would be an existential threat, or around backed Hezbollah based in Lebanon, which has 150,000 long range missiles pointed at Israel. It has its own air defense system and commando force. Does Hamas rise to that same threat level?

Because it seems the answer to that question would seem to determine the scope of the rest of this Israeli military operation in Gaza and the chance of any kind of ceasefire. That is, before you add in the factor of Israeli domestic politics. So where do things stand right now? RAVID: Well, I think that obviously Hamas is not an existential threat to Israel. By the way, my personal opinion is that Israel does not face any existential threat at the moment. But I think what we saw on October 7th, that Hamas is a huge threat for Israelis and for Israel without it being an existential threat because it managed to conduct the most serious attack on the state of Israel, maybe since 1948 and the most serious invasion into Israeli territory and the most serious attack on Israeli civilians since 1948.

And I think that's a big threat. And I think that when you ask the question, why does this war continue, it's not because Hamas is an existential threat to Israel. It's because no Israeli will be able to go back living in this area on the borders of Gaza if he knows that on the other side of the border this threat still remains. And that's what Israeli public opinion is telling the government. And this is why, don't think any politician right now in Israel will be able to stop this war without dismantling Hamas.

VAUSE: And on Tuesday, the chief of staff of the IDF spoke with troops in the north about ongoing preparations for when the military offensive will resume in Gaza. He told them the IDF is prepared to continue fighting. We're using the days of the pause as part of the framework to learn, strengthen our readiness, and approve future operational plans. Israel's offensive in northern Gaza seemed to go pretty much as planned. Next comes southern Gaza. So, what is known about Hamas in terms of the capability there? Will southern Gaza be more complicated? How much more difficult more difficult will it be given the loss of momentum for the IDF over the last few days? And add into that mix 1.7 million displaced Palestinians who fled to the south in search of safety.


RAVID: Yeah, I think southern Gaza is a whole different ballgame. It has nothing to do with what we saw in the last two or three weeks with the ground operation in northern Gaza. The ground operation in northern Gaza, for example, took place when northern Gaza was, it wasn't empty of civilians, but it was, there were far less civilians than before the war. So, it was much easier to operate.

In southern Gaza right now, there are more than 2 million Palestinians in a very dense area. And any operation in southern Gaza, you know, will have to somehow take place without hitting those civilians. And honestly, I got to tell you, I just don't know if such a thing is even possible.

VAUSE: Yeah, and with the IDF still gearing up for this renewed military offensive, Hamas, on the other hand, they're pushing for some kind of longer truce here. A senior official with Hamas telling CNN, quote, we are striving to extend the truce to stop the aggression, that's what they say Israel is doing once and for all, by using the cards we have. We are in constant contact with Qatar and Egypt at the present time regarding the truce, and there are efforts being made by other countries to pressure for a ceasefire. When he says they're using the cards we have, what exactly does that

mean? Is that a reference perhaps to what Israeli soldiers who are currently being held in Gaza?

RAVID: Yeah, I think the soldiers, of course, but also the, I think, several dozen men, civilians who are, kidnapped either from the music festival. There are around, I think, 40 men who were kidnapped from the music festival, and another several dozen men who were kidnapped from the Israeli villages near Gaza. And Hamas is still holding them. And he's trying to use them in order to tell the Israelis, you know what, we'll release all of them if you stop the war. This was one of the messages that were given to Mossad chief David Barnea today in Qatar when he met CIA director of intelligence and the head of Egyptian intelligence and the prime minister of Qatar.

But the head of Mossad, what he told them is that we, that Israel is not going to discuss any future deal on those, so to say, cards or those soldiers and men before all women and children are released. And I think when, if those women and children are not released, we're going to see a resumption of the military operation.

VAUSE: Yeah. Barak, it's great to have you with us. Your insight. Your experience is very valuable. Very much appreciated. Thank you, sir.

RAVID: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: The World Health Organization is warning that more people in Gaza will die from disease and acute health conditions than from Israeli airstrikes if the medical infrastructure is not restored. The agency says hundreds of thousands of people are now suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes as well as cancer, but there is no access to medication as well as the treatment they desperately need.


MARGARET HARRIS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATON SPOKESPERSON: Eventually, we will see more people dying from disease than we're even seeing from the bombardment if we are not able to put back this health system and provide the basics of life, food, water, medicines, and of course, fuel to operate the hospitals.


VAUSE: Most health care facilities in Gaza have been forced to close due to Israeli airstrikes as well as a lack of fuel. Israel insists it's targeting Hamas and not civilians. Palestine Red Crescent says, Around 200 aid trucks crossed into Gaza since Friday. But the UN warns the aid going in at the moment is just a drop in the ocean of what is actually needed. The pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas has also given many families a chance to return home to retrieve their belongings and in some cases, the bodies of their dead relatives.

Sen. Jamal al-Khattash has a tragic story of a grieving Palestinian grandfather returning to his destroyed home where his grandchildren died during an airstrike while they were asleep. Warning, this story contains disturbing video.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Khaled and Reem were inseparable. Her grandfather was her whole world. Her favorite game, pulling his beard, and he would pull her piggie tails. I'll let go, she says, if you let go. Khaled just can't let go of his little Reem. Now searching for memories amid the rubble of his life. This was Reem's doll, he says.


The family was asleep when an airstrike nearby brought down their house in southern Gaza last week. Khaled woke up screaming for his children and grandchildren, struggling to walk in the dark and through the wreckage to find them. I couldn't find anyone. They were buried underneath all this rubble, he says. My daughter Maisa was here.

Her children, Reen and Tarek, were here in her arms. Maisa and her sister barely survived. After a few days in intensive care, they're now recovering at a relative's house. I felt something heavy on top of me. I started screaming, Maisa says. I heard Reen screaming next to me. I told her there's something heavy on top of me. I can't reach you. I said my final prayers. And next, I woke up in the hospital. Maisa woke up to the news. Her three and five-year-old children were gone. Their lifeless bodies found together under the rubble. They slept next to each other that night. They slept early, she says.

I told them to stay up a little longer, but they said they wanted to sleep. At the hospital, I was just numb, she says. I hugged them. I wanted to get as many hugs. I wanted to get as many hugs as I could. No matter how much I hugged them, I didn't get enough. Their final days lived in a war they were too young to understand. Where they no longer could dress up, go out and play, or get their favorite treats. With their father abroad working, they lived with their grandfather. Reen was so attached to him, and he spoiled her.

They kept asking for fruit, but there's no fruit because of the war he says, I could only find them these tangerines. Khaled holds the tangerine he gave Reen, the one she didn't get to eat, and pinned close to his heart her tiny earring. He breaks down as he remembers their final evening, how his grandchildren begged him to take them out to play. But he couldn't. Airstrikes were everywhere. Khaled says he's not a fighter. They had nothing to do with the war, but like so many in Gaza, his family paid the price.

Khaled held Reen in his arms for one last time. He hugged her motionless body, opened her eyes, and kissed her goodbye. I was asking her to kiss me like she used to, but she didn't, he says. I used to kiss her on her cheeks, on her nose, and she would giggle. I kissed her, but she wouldn't wake up, he recalls. I held Tarek. I fixed his hair the way he liked it. I was wishing, hoping, they were only sleeping, he says. But they weren't sleeping. They're gone.

Gone a month before her fourth birthday, a birthday Reem shared with her grandfather. She was the soul of my soul, Khaled says. Jemana Karachi, CNN, London.


We'll take a short break, when we come back the father of a nine- year-old former hostage who was originally thought his daughter was dead. She's alive, and he describes how she survived Hamas captivity. We're back in a moment.



VAUSE: The father of a nine-year-old former hostage who initially thought his daughter had been killed is showing some of what she went through during her time in Hamas captivity. Emily Had was reunited with her father on Saturday, and CNN's Clarissa Ward has this report.


THOMAS HAND, FATHER OF EMILY HAND: She said, yeah, she'll be here in a couple of minutes. I was like, oh, I don't believe it. And all of a sudden, the door opened up and she just ran. It was beautiful. Just like in -- Just like I imagined it, you know, running together. I squeezed. I probably squeezed too hard.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a moment. A moment Thomas Ham thought would never come. Told his nine- year-old daughter, Emily, had been killed in the October 7th attacks, then that she was believed to be held hostage in Gaza. Finally, reunited with her family after 50 days in captivity, free but visibly haunted by her ordeal.

HAND: So when she stepped back a little, I could see her. Her face was chiseled like mine. Before she left, it was, you know, chubby, curly, young, kid face. The other and the most shocking, disturbing part of meeting her was she was just whispering. I had to put my ear on her lips, like this close, and say, what did you say? "I thought you were kidnapped".

WARD: She said, I thought you were kidnapped.

HAND: She thought I was in captivity.

WARD: And what has she told you about what she's gone through?

HAND: I thought she was in the tunnels, but she wasn't in the tunnels. They were actually fleeing from house to house. She doesn't like it. People refer to her as Gaza. She says, the kufsa, the box. So, you have to say, like, how long were you in the box? The kufsa. She said, a year. And so apart from the whispering, that was like a punch in the guts.

WARD: There's that one photograph right after your reunion. And you're holding her, and there is this sort of seriousness to her facial expression.

HAND: Yeah, she's almost staring, isn't she? A little bit of a disconnect with everything going on around her.

WARD: Has she cried?

HAND: Oh yeah. Yeah. Last night, she cried until her face was red and blotchy. She couldn't stop. She didn't want any comfort. I guess she's forgotten how to be comforted. I just had to wait until she came out of it by herself. She knows how to do that. She's a very determined little girl. Very strong. I knew that her spirit would get her through it.

WARD: There have been glimpses of the old Emily. Her first request to listen to Beyonce and play with the family dog. But many moments of pain, like when Thomas was forced to break the news to her that his ex-wife, Narquise, had been killed. Does Emily understand what happened on October 7th?

HAND: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, she does. And how do you tell her, you know, your second mum is dead, killed, shot? When we got back to the hospital, I asked the psychiatrist, you know, what do I do? What should I do? She said, you've just got to tell her straight. It's the best way. Okay.


Okay, yeah, that was very hard because we told her and you know her little eyes glazed up and she just went, -- took a sharp inhale, and took a breath. A terrible thing to tell a child. But then, as they recommend, you have to close the book. It sounds cruel, but you have to stop that hope. So, you've got to stop that. It has to be final. Our kiss is dead.

WARD: So, what is the next step now? How long do you stay here? How do you start a new life?

HAND: The future is obviously getting Emily back to health, and we will do that along the way. But the next thing is, along the way, is that we have to get all the children, obviously all the women, all the men, all the hostages have to come back. They have to be brought back.


VAUSE: Take a short break, back in a moment. You're watching CNN.


VAUSE: Welcome back, 29 minutes past the hour. Sources tell CNN Hamas has given Israel the list of six sets of hostages to be reprieved in the day ahead, and the Israeli government is notifying their families. A temporary pause in fighting is now into its final day, although there is a possibility it might be extended. Hamas says it's in constant contact with Qatar and Egypt. Both countries helped broker this deal. Hamas released 10 Israelis and two Thai nationals on Tuesday, and they promised to free 10 additional hostages for every day there is a pause in the fighting. Israel released another 30 Palestinian women and children from its prisons as part of this agreement.

Many of the prisoners being held by Israel were detained, but never charged. Among the hostages released so far from Gaza is a Philippine national who'd been working as a caregiver at the kibbutz Niz Oz, which was targeted on October 7th by Hamas militants. He's one of two Filipinos kidnapped on that day, even as four others were killed. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more details now, reporting in from Tel Aviv.


OREN LIEBERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jimmy Pacheco was never supposed to be a part of this conflict, but he walked out of Shamir Hospital swept up in a war that wasn't his.

GELIENOR JIMMY PACHECO, RELEASED HOSTAGE: I really didn't think that they will keep me alive. Knowing that they already had killed my employer.


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Pacheco is from the Philippines, one of tens of thousands of foreign workers who often come as caretakers or farmhands.

In kibbutz Nir Oz near the Gaza border he cared for the elderly Amitai Ben Zvi. The kibbutz was destroyed on October 7th, and Ben Zvi was murdered. Mati is his brother.

MATI BEN ZVI, BROTHER OF AMITAI BIN ZVI: When the terrorists went to the house, my brother was thinking of, you know, to save Jimmy, because he knew that he cannot run. Jimmy said, No, I'll stay with you, because that's what I'm doing. You know, that's what I'm supposed to do.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Mati Ben Zvi says Jimmy Pacheco had become a part of the family.

BEN ZVI: The whole world know about Jimmy. You know, and that's due to my brother's sons, because he was so dear to my brother, you know?

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The Philippines embassy in Israel released this video of Pacheco, it is one of the first times we've heard directly from a freed hostage.

PACHECO (through translator): Regarding losing weight, it is normal that I would be like this, because the food they gave was not enough.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Pacheco was about to finish his five-year contract in Israel when he was taken hostage.

LIEBERMANN: For the Filipino community in Israel, 30,000 strong, the attack of October 7th was a deeply personal. Four of their own were killed in the attack.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): In a surprise move, Hamas has released 17 Thai citizens during the first days of the truce, as well as Jimmy Pacheco.

The Philippines ambassador to Israel said four Filipinos were murdered October 7th and two taken hostage.

PEDRO LAYLOR JR., AMBASSADOR OF THE PHILIPPINES TO ISRAEL: Most of the Filipino workers chose to stay. They believe that, you know, they've been here for years already, that Israel will -- will be able to weather the storm.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The sons of the man for whom Pacheco cared met him at the hospital upon his release, the shine of the bond that they share. Soon after Jimmy Pacheco was released, he spoke with his wife celebrated the chance to see him again.

PACHECO (through translator): When I was in Gaza City, I had already lost my faith that I would stay alive. I didn't think I would be able to come back to my family. I gathered strength from our Lord and from my kids. In my mind, I knew I could surpass this.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Jimmy credits his survival to his faith. He'll head home in a few weeks to his own family in the Philippines, a reunion that will come just in time for Christmas.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Tel Aviv.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: When we come back here on CNN, I'll have more details on the COP28 U.N. summit, with the U.N. chief heading to Antarctica. He's urging world leaders to tackle the effect of fossil fuels ahead of that crucial U.N. summit taking place at the UAE, one of the world's biggest oil producers, this week.


VAUSE: Well, in India, a happy ending on Tuesday after a 17-day ordeal. Forty-one workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel have all been rescued.

But as CNN's Vedika Sud reports, the rescue was not easy. The team suffered many setbacks before they eventually reach the men who had been trapped deep below the earth.



VEDIKA SUD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seventeen days after the collapse, amid the applause and cheering, 41 men trapped inside this Himalayan tunnel, finally rescued.

Falling into the arms of their families, friends and officials, who spent days and nights by the site, waiting for this breakthrough.

WAKIL HASAN, NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE RESCUE TEAM LEADER (through translator): All the trapped workers are coming out, one by one. There are no challenges now, and they're coming out very easily.

SUD (voice-over): Agonizing setbacks came almost by the day. Snags and machine failures slowed the push through 60 meters of rock, concrete and twisted metal. The last stretch endured by hand from inside an almost three-feet-wide evacuation pipe through which these men emerged.

PUSHKAR SINGH DHAMI, CHIEF MINISTER, UTTARAKHAND STATE, INDIA: They don't have any symptoms of weakness or fever. They're all healthy. While it was treacherous for them to come out, they chose to come out crawling on their own.

SUD (voice-over): Amid media frenzy, the 41 survivors were whisked away in ambulances, far from the rocks, debris and uncertainty.

Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.


VAUSE: Well, the head of the U.N. caught up some frequent flyer points ahead of the COP28 summit. He's urging world leaders to tackle fossil fuels and the impacts on the environment.

He went to Antarctica to actually make this plea. Antonio Guterres was there on Monday to highlight the climate crisis. Wonder what that carbon footprint was.

Posted on X, "It's profoundly shocking to stand on the ice of Antarctica and hear directly from scientists how fast the ice is melting, now coming a little faster than it was before."

The course, he said, is clear. Fossil fuel pollution.

Representatives from nearly 200 countries are expected to attend COP28. The leaders of two of the world's biggest carbon clearance, the United States -- that would be President Joe Biden -- and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will not be there.

Katharine Hayhoe is chief scientist at the Nature Conservancy and distinguished professor at Texas Tech University. She joins us this hour from Dallas.

It's good to see you. Welcome back.


VAUSE: So you know, there was some concern over the UAE, one of the world's biggest producers of oil and gas, hosting the U.N.'s annual climate change summit.

There's also some concern when Sultan Al-Jaber was named as chairman of the summit, because he also happens to be the CEO of the Abu Dhabi national oil company.

And despite all the reassurances, there was nothing to worry about, all those concerns have now been realized this week when leaked documents show the UAE was planning to use its position as host of the summit to strike new oil and gas deals with foreign governments.

These annual U.N. gabfests of promises made and promises never kept already have a massive credibility problem. Can we all now agree that putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank, now in hindsight was a really, really bad idea?

HAYHOE: The way I think about it is the fox is in charge of the henhouse, and according to these reports, the fox is collecting other foxes to come together in figuring out what to do with the hens. This is not consistent and compatible with increasing our ambition. In fact, it's moving in exactly the opposite direction.

VAUSE: It just seems to me this sort of perspective there within the fossil fuel industry, that they're going to be the last man standing. One of them is going to have to cash in, right to the very end, and they're going to withdraw that last drop of oil or that last bit of coal out of the ground. And they're going to be the ones to cash in. And -- and the planet will just be fine.

HAYHOE: The planet is already not fine, but again, it really isn't about the planet; it's about us. The planet will be orbiting the sun long after we're gone. The question is, will human society still be functioning? And we know clearly that, if we do not change our ways, the answer to that is no.

VAUSE: Well, now a brief message from BP. Listen to this.


GRAPHIC: Our bold new ambition is to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner. Not only across our operations but also from the oil and gas. We want to help the world get to net zero by advocating for well- designed climate policies like carbon pricing.


VAUSE: Yes, and net zero from all the oil and gas they produce. Here's the reality. A report last week from the International Energy Agency declared a moment of truth is coming for the oil and gas industry.

It went on, among the key findings, "The industry currently accounts for only 1 percent of global investment in clean energy, and continues to pump out disastrous quantities of planet-heating gases, including methane, which is roughly 80 times more potent than CO2 in the near term."

And again, this debate that fossil fuels actually has some kind of role to play in a carbon-neutral world, that debate does seem to be over. It doesn't have a future, does it?


HAYHOE: We know that already, we can have no new fossil expansion if we're to meet our Paris goals. And we know that, in order to achieve carbon neutrality, at best, a few drops of fossil fuels can be left in our fuel mix, drops that are fully removed from the atmosphere through expensive technologies like direct air capture.

We need to transition as quickly as possible to phasing out fossil fuels as completely as possible, while also investing in the most vulnerable communities and countries, who are most impacted by these planet-warming emissions and investing and all kinds of solutions across the spectrum.

Because it isn't just about renewable energy, although that's a big part of it, it's also investing efficiency, and climate smart agriculture and behavioral change. All the different pieces, put together, add up to the solution we need.

VAUSE: And part of the solution obviously is electric vehicles. And those costs just keep coming down and down and down, the more they're produced, the more they're bought, the more they're developed.

It's now possible to get an electric vehicle made in the United States next year for under $30,000, with rebates around $20,000. Which just goes to prove that the more this technology is developed, the more wider it is used, the more the scale grows, the cheaper it becomes, the more reliable it becomes.

And that seems to be extrapolated over every part of the -- you know, the economy here when it comes to renewable energy, when it comes to carbon -- net-carbon zero products, right?

HAYHOE: It is. So solar energy is now the cheapest form of electricity humans have ever known. And I live in Texas, which just passed California this year for the most installed utility-scale solar. And they're investing in all kinds of creative and innovative ways to store that energy when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing so that we can truly have a reliable grid based on renewables.

VAUSE: The sooner we move down that road, the sooner everything gets better, right?

HAYHOE: That's true. Again, this is not about saving the planet at the expense of people. It is literally about saving us, us humans and many of the other living species that share this planet with us. This is our home, and that's what's at stake.

VAUSE: Simple as that. Katharine, good to see you. Thanks so much.

HAYHOE: You, too.

VAUSE: I'd like to save that home.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. I'll be back with more news at the top of the hour.

In the meantime, a short break, and right after that is WORLD SPORT. I will see you right back here in just under 18 minutes.