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Connect the World

President Biden & PM Johnson Meeting Right Now; President Biden on Summit With Russia's Putin Next Week; Uganda Struggles to get COVID Vaccines as Virus Spikes; Biden and Boris Johnson Hold First Face-to-Face Talks Ahead of G7; Answer to the Call to Protect the Earth. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 10, 2021 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well hello and welcome to a special edition of "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson for you in Abu Dhabi.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very good afternoon. I am Isa Soares in Falmouth, Cornwall, where the G7 Summit is taking place.

ANDERSON: We got a lot of news to get through this hour, not least, what is this hugely important diplomatic event? We just saw U.S. President Joe

Biden in his first overseas trip meeting with the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of that G7 Summit where they discuss the special

relationship between the two countries. Well, that special relationship taking center stage this hour. Isa, take it away.

SOARES: Thank you very much, Becky Anderson. And that the two leaders as you saw, as you mentioned, there are expected today to recommit to the

country's long friendship in an updated Atlantic Charter. Here they as you can see on your screen looking over that.

The Atlantic Charter was a statement by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt's some 80 years ago. And at the time, Britain and the U.S. were

defending democracy, really against wartime enemies. And today, world leaders are fighting an invisible enemy.

I think that is fair to say that's the Coronavirus pandemic. And while cases are rising in many parts of the world, including here in the UK, I

may add, the new Charter leaves out early steps for restoring travel between their countries. And there could be some awkward moments between

them as well.

President Biden is expected to bring up a post Brexit trade route over Northern Ireland. Officials say he'll urge Mr. Johnson to make sure really

doesn't threaten Northern Ireland's power sharing government CNN's Nic Robertson in Carbis, where the two leaders meeting.

And Nic, before we talk about the charter, and we talk about, you know that the sticking points in Northern Ireland then what we just saw a few minutes

ago. So the two leaders meeting side by side give us a sense of what that meeting was like, there was some humor there to some levity?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Oh, there was and they were standing, looking on this across this beautiful beach in a sort of

idyllic little English cove.

And ought to see, there was the HMS Prince of Wales. The current name, the current holder of that name, of course, the original ship of that name was

the one where this Atlantic Charter was signed by Churchill and Roosevelt all those 80 years ago.

But the liberty came, you know, imagine any of us be in that position. You're leaders of a country and President Biden's case you're the leader of

the free world, the most powerful man on the planet and you're meeting another leader, for the first time as leaders on your first international


The cameras are rolling, the reporters have are hounding you for questions and you're sort of trying to enjoy this photogenic moment looking out to

see on a beach you would otherwise go to sort of sit and relax. What do you do?

Well, he complimented Boris Johnson on his wife saying, we both married up and Boris Johnson responded in the way that Boris Johnson does so well. He

said, yes, I'm not going to contradict you on that or anything else. So I think that was Boris Johnson's message there saying, look, I'm all about

getting along with you.

I want this relationship to be good. I want the things that we stand for and say in this charter to be strong. I want people around the world to

understand that we are allies that we're buddies whatever issues and differences in Northern Ireland protocol that may exist on the big ticket

things like vaccination, like economic recovery, like climate change, all these things.

We're allies partners, allied and that's the important message, I think from the pair of them today.

SOARES: Yes, it's really about as they look as we look at this video from earlier one of them looking at the charter. It's really about rebuilding

alliances, isn't it for Joe Biden, but there are Nic, some sticking points here and perhaps some very awkward conversations when it comes to Northern

Ireland protocol.

How do you think that President Biden will handle that discussion with Prime Minister Boris Johnson?

ROBERTSON: You know, we've been told that, you know, he is rock solid in his belief crystal clear that the Good Friday Agreement that underpins the

peace in Northern Ireland is the foundation for peace in Ireland.


ROBERTSON: And he is concerned that Boris Johnson is in his wrangling his post Brexit wrangling with the European Union, on customs, arrangements and

inspections for goods, leaving Mainland Britain going into Northern Ireland that is wrangling over that is potentially going to damage the Good Friday

Peace Agreement.

Boris Johnson's position is absolutely not, but it is. Two very different positions at the moment Britain is in intense, not broken down yet. But not

making headway on agreement with the European Union as of yesterday, by leading negotiators and yet today now facing Boris Johnson facing President


You know, who has the power and who said in the past, if you damage this, this Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland, then this could affect and impact

the type of trading relationship you the UK have with the United States. That's a huge amount at stake.

A few years ago, or a year or so ago, Boris Johnson was saying the future trade relationships we have outside of the EU and particularly the United

States are going to be hugely important. There's a lot of leverage on President Biden's side of course.

SOARES: Yes. Yes, I remember you and I having this discussion back then, Nic. Our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson there for us thanks

very much, Nic.

Well, the combination of Mr. Biden's first European trip the U.S. President will be that other big summit the other one his face to face meeting next

week with Vladimir Putin. But already the Russian President and Mr. Biden are getting their respective messages out there.

As you can imagine, the U.S. state department condemning a Moscow court for labeling groups supporting jail dissident election evolving as,

"Extremist". Still, the White House tells CNN the plan should even meeting will go ahead now focus into the story and the author of doom, the politics

of catastrophe. He joins me now from San Francisco Bay Area now great to see you, great to have you on the show.

Let's start with Russia, if I could. We heard Biden, President Biden says he wouldn't, you know, he wouldn't hold back, basically, in this

conversation with President Putin. He said he would tell Putin what I want him to know. How will that conversation go? What do you think he wants him

to know now?

NIALL FERGUSON, SENIOR FELLOW, HOOVER INSTITUTION, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Well, I don't think it's going to go well. But then what else is new, even

when the President of the United States was trying to have a good relationship with Russia.

And that remember, was supposed to be part of the point of Donald Trump it went nowhere, because whatever the president may feel, there is enormous

hostility towards Russia in the U.S. Congress. And sanctions have been imposed on key individuals and entities in Russia going all the way back to

the 2014 annexation of Crimea and partial invasion of Ukraine.

And I think that's the sticking point. If you go all the way back to the Obama Administration, President Putin has shown less and less regard for

U.S. or indeed western sensitivities. And not only with respect to Ukraine, let's not forget Russia's action, its intervention in Syria.

So I don't think this is going to be a very pleasant conversation. President Biden, of course, there's some sense of what he's up against. But

everybody who knows President Putin knows that he's one of the hardest boiled eggs in the salad of international relations.

SOARES: So how does he crack that boiled egg then now because we've heard Biden talk that he wants to create a stable, predictable relationship? How

does it go back cracking that egg?

FERGUSON: Well, clearly not through direct conversations. That's not the way these things work that ultimately, Russia is a much weaker player than

it used to be in the days when it was the heart of the Soviet Union.

The vulnerabilities that Russia has are economic. Russia's economic performance has been pretty miserable in recent years, President Putin's

position relies more and more on repression and less and less on genuine popularity.

And that means that ultimately, the United States has the whip hand, it is far the superior economy. And in that sense, President Biden has the option

to tighten the screw on Russia economically if he wishes to.

In my view, Russia is only really significant as a junior partner to a much more important power further east, namely China. And all the diplomacy in

the world whether we're talking about the G6 or the relationship with Russia is implicitly about China.

How far can Joe Biden restore relations with traditional allies? How far can he reduce the strength of partnership that has developed between Moscow

and Beijing?

SOARES: On China, then you brought me nicely into my next question, which really was, you know, Europe is not as focused as you well know now vis-a-

vis China.


SOARES: So what is - what does Biden want to hear from his G7 allies when it comes to China?

FERGUSON: Well, if you think about what's happening at the moment, it's really a kind of echo of an institution that dates back to the Cold War. I

mean, the original meetings, were meetings in the 1970s that brought together the principal, western countries, the main European players, the

United States and Canada.

And ultimately, what Joe Biden wants to do is to repair the relations with those key allies that were damaged during Donald Trump's Presidency,

because Trump made it so clear that he didn't care about alliances, and he was prepared to slap tariffs on allies as well as adversaries.

So part of the job here is, is restoring those, those alliance relationships. And it's easy to do that in a speech, it's easy to say the

kind of phrases that signify that the transatlantic alliance is back just in the same way that America is back. But then you turn to the substance

and it gets a lot harder.

It's not immediately obvious how Joe Biden is going to improve transatlantic relations at a time when the European commission is

consistently going after the biggest American tech companies? It's so I think when we turn from the rhetoric to the substance, it gets a lot


And although I think Joe Biden is pretty good at the kind of rhetoric that Europeans like to hear. He's already shown that he's prepared to be quite

undiplomatic with the UK, the host country of this meeting on the vexed question of the Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit deal.

SOARES: Yes, he's made it very clear where he stands on the Northern Ireland protocol. And now you'd have heard the U.S. basically saying

they've agreed to buy 500 million I think Pfizer vaccine doses distributed around the world. On the question of the pandemic, do you think this move

by President Joe Biden will motivate other G-countries to follow suit?

But also, if you could put into place in historical perspective for us, how difficult will it be to actually distribute and put shots in arms as they

try to form a strategy here when it comes to Coronavirus?

FERGUSON: Well, in the past, the United States has played a leading role in global public health efforts think of the eradication of smallpox. And I

think it's absolutely right for the United States and all of the wealthy countries of the western world to step up.

Ultimately getting vaccination expedited in the developing world is of vital importance not only for those countries in the developing world, but

for us too. Because the longer that the virus is raging or whether it's in India or Brazil, or in sub Saharan Africa, the more possibilities exist for

variants to emerge that are actually able to get around the vaccines we've developed.

So this is a worthy project for a U.S. President and for U.S. allies comparable, not only with the great effort to eradicate smallpox, but it's

comparable with the marshal plan. I think this can only be an important step, but it's a step in the right direction. The scale of this challenge

is absolutely vast. And this can only be regarded as a beginning.

SOARES: Niall Ferguson there for us Historian the Author of Doom, the "Politics of Catastrophe". Now great to see you thank you very much, I

appreciate it.

So Becky's you heard it from now a lot for the G7 leaders to tackle here. The freeze is mainly China Coronavirus, one of the main and the leading

subject here as well as climate change back to you, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's going to be a very interesting 72 hours thank you Isa, on G7 for you. And other news, Nicaraguan police have detained another leading

opposition figures President Daniel Ortega moves to further consolidate his power there. - was taken into custody on Wednesday, the seventh opposition

leader to be detained there in less than a week.

He's been accused of acting against the independence and sovereignty of the country. The same charge levied against another opposition politician and

certainly more than one several of those arrested planned to run against Ortega in what will be general elections in November.

Well, CNN's Matt Rivers has been following developments in Nicaragua and he joins me now. What do we know about Ortega and his intentions at this


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think Becky for some of our viewers who might not be familiar with Daniela Ortega, as a leader in

Central America, you know, he has been kind of undermining Nicaraguan democracy for the better part of a decade now, but his impact on that

country goes back multiple decades. And so let's tell you a little bit about more of who he is?



RIVERS (voice over): Months before a crucial election in Nicaragua, a crackdown on dissent seems to be reaching new levels of aggression. And

less than a week seven of President Daniel Ortega's most high profile opponents have been detained.

Key challengers now quieted, as Ortega seeks another term in office. After 14 consecutive years and four terms total as President of Nicaragua, the

aging leader wants his reign to go on.

Now decades after first taking power and a revolution he helped orchestrate. Once the rebel Ortega began his political career as Head of

the Sandinistas, a resistance party that began as a Guerrilla Group in the 1960s.

In 1979, the Sandinistas overthrew the government of a dictator, whose family had led Nicaragua for decades. Five years later, Ortega became

President of Nicaragua in the first democratic elections after the revolution.

In his first term, he contended with the U.S. campaign against him from then President Ronald Reagan, who considered him a communist threat. U.S.

support finance anti Sandinista rebels known as contrast.

The two groups fought for years in a conflict that killed tens of thousands. Weary Nicaraguans voted or take out the following election then

two more after that. But in 2006, he was elected to power once again, this time pledging peace and prosperity in what was then a poverty stricken


Over the next 10 years, the country's GDP rose as Ortega oversaw economic improvements aided by allies in Venezuela and Cuba. But some of his critics

note he was simultaneously tightening his grip on power.

In 2014, Nicaragua's congress voted to end the term limits, allowing Ortega to run yet again, then in 2016, with opposition lawmakers kicked out in the

process and international monitors told to stay home.

Ortega won reelection in a landslide victory, this time with his wife Rosario Murillo as Vice President. In the spring of 2018 mass opposition

protests ended in a brutal crackdown unleashed by Ortega. Human rights groups say hundreds were killed.

Ortega stayed in power despite international calls for his resignation as a political crisis ensued and the economy deteriorated. Still, those who

challenge his power can be seen as enemies of the state. Warning Ortega may now be the kind of dictator. He'd once fought to overthrow.


RIVERS: And no matter how all this plays out, Becky, what is clear is that Danielle Ortega's legacy is going to be forever marked by this attempt to

consolidate power and essentially become a dictator in Nicaragua.

Now, in terms of the international community response, we saw the U.S. levy pretty targeted sanctions yesterday against several high ranking members of

the Nicaraguan government including Ortega's daughter.

But it's interesting, we talked about it yesterday, Becky, those are targeted sanctions. They're not going to hurt the broader Nicaraguan

economy as a whole, because the United States knows, at least at this point, they're not willing to do that and create more migrants that could

end up at the United States, given the overall situation with that.

But where we go from here, Becky is really an open question in terms of how the international community is going to respond.

ANDERSON: Yes and Washington, of course, keeping a very, very close eye on what happens next. Just remind us where Washington stands at this point.

RIVERS: Yes, I mean, they're essentially very clearly trying to walk a fine line here. I mean, I mentioned the sanctions, targeted sanctions because

they could do a lot of damage to the Nicaraguan economy overall and they know that. So I think they're going to see how Ortega continues on this


This has also happened very quickly. I mean, this came as a surprise we've seen Ortega really tear apart democratic institutions in the country. But

to take these levels of steps, starting with the first arrest last week and then we've seen multiple arrests this week.

You know, this came as a surprise to a lot of people probably including you at the U.S. Government. And so they're still unsure trying to formulate a

broader long term response. But again, this is a very fine line for the U.S. Government to walk.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Matt, I appreciate it. Matt is in Mexico City of course, where he is based, world leaders at this hour, thank you gathering

out of the first G7 Summit. Post pandemic coming up, we'll take a look at the topics they will tackle over the next couple of days.

And analyze what happened between these two men they have met first bilateral face to face meeting between Joe Biden as President and the

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

COVID at the top of the G7 agenda after the break, we head to Uganda where a brutal second wave of infections is ripping through that country. Why the

government there says wealthier nations could have done more to help prevent the crisis.



ANDERSON: Well, Senior Biden's Administration Official says that the U.S. will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to countries

around the world. President Biden expected to make that official at the G7 Summit to encourage U.S. allies to step up vaccine sharing efforts.

Now this comes as African countries struggle to get vaccines. The Ugandan Government accusing wealthy nations of hoarding that could have prevented a

brutal second wave there. Well, I'm connecting you now to Kampala, Uganda's Capital and to CNN's Larry Madowo. Larry, just lay out what the picture is

there and where and why such a critical need?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The picture here is pretty drastic, if you could call it that, Becky, because the country has the infrastructure to

vaccinate as many people as possible except there are no vaccines. We've been trying all week to try and go to a mass vaccination site and

everywhere we have gone, they ran out of vaccines.

The government of Uganda telling us that if they had the vaccines tomorrow, they would run a mass campaign to vaccinate everybody and they will not be

in the middle of this second wave where younger people in their 20s and 30s are dying and so many are in hospitals and life support because of the lack

of vaccines.

People are trying to go back to their lives and they are getting infected. That is a problem. And I have been to a stadium here in Kampala where it's

been turned into COVID vaccination site, COVID treatment site.


MADOWO (voice over): Compilers main stadium, now a temporary hospital for COVID patients. The Ugandan Government says this makeshift treatment center

is only for mild to moderate cases. But CNN witnessed a body being carted away.

Last week the World Health Organization says cases here were up 137 percent the second straight week of triple digit spike in infections. Across town

40 year old Stephen Ntambi was finally well enough to be taken off a ventilator just hours before we arrived.

STEPHEN NTAMBI, COVID-19 PATIENT: Now that I have a second chance, people shouldn't play with their lives recklessly when it comes to COVID. The way

I feel now I feel like God has given me a thousand more years.

MADOWO (voice over): It's all hands on deck at this hospital. The ICU has been overcapacity for the last two weeks even after adding 50 percent more

beds. They keep turning away new patients who need critical care.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then we got emergencies and may have used up a bit.

MADOWO (voice over): The calls keep coming. How many similar calls have you heard today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. About 15 call, just this morning.

MADOWO (on camera): Every patient and this wing of the small private hospital are on life support. It's also putting a strain on the staff, some

of whom have had to do 24 hour shifts, because the need is far greater than the medical professionals available.

MADOWO (voice over): The average age of the patient is 40. Doctors tell us the youngest was only 18.

MADOWO (on camera): Why exactly are we seeing young people?

DR. ERASMUS EREBU OKELLO, TMR INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL: One, for sure, it's a more aggressive strain. But the other thing also could be that, you know,

after the first wave, we might have gotten quite excited enough to slacken you know, on our preventive measures.

MADOWO (voice over): It's a crisis that could have been avoided says Uganda's top health official.

DR. DIANA ATWINE, PERMANENT SECRETARY, UGANDA MINISTRY OF HEALTH: If we got this vaccine at the end of last wave, our community would be much better

than what we're experiencing now.

MADOWO (on camera): Considering you have only vaccinated 2 percent of the Ugandan population, when will you have enough people vaccinated that life

and return to normal here?

DR. ATWINE: I cannot answer that because I'm not in charge of I cannot access the vaccines if I could access the vaccines, even tomorrow, would

conduct, you know national wide campaign and vaccinate.

MADOWO (voice over): With almost all Uganda's unvaccinated, the government warns that each positive person could infect between 80 to 100 people.

MADOWO (on camera): Uganda has strict social distancing guidelines, but it's business as usual here in downtown Kampala. People have to be here to

make a living. It's impossible to work from home.

MADOWO (voice over): But they may have little choice for the next six weeks, as Uganda is now in partial lockdown again.


MADOWO: Only 2 percent of Africans are currently vaccinated and Africa suffers the horror. It's 1 percent Becky. And the World Health Organization

saying today that Africa needs another 225 million shots if they can vaccinate 10 percent of the population in every country by September. That

is a need from Uganda in the last four countries has been in the last week and a half.

ANDERSON: Take that as a test case for what is going on in so many countries in Africa and indeed in countries middle and low income countries

around the world. There is a dire need for vaccines, Larry, always a pleasure, thank you, Sir.

Still ahead on the eve of the G7 Summit then the leaders of the U.S. and UK are reaffirming that friendship in a post pandemic, while we'll take you

live to Cornwall in England to see what is going on in what is a special edition of "Connect the World".


ANDERSON: Carbis Bay in Cornwall a picture perfect setting for a meeting of leaders from the world's most advanced economies. Hello and welcome back to

"Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi.

SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares in Falmouth on the Cornish Coast of England where the G7 Summit is taking place.

ANDERSON: And that is where we are going to start this last half hour of "Connect the World", Isa.

SOARES: Thanks very much, Becky. This is of course the first in person event for G7 world leaders since the pandemic began. And as you can

imagine, Coronavirus is at the top of the agenda.

On the eve of the summit, the leaders of the West as well as the UK met for the first time. They met about an hour or so ago, Joe Biden and Boris

Johnson expected to reaffirm ties with the new updated Atlantic Charter. They also hope to defuse tensions over Brexit as well as Northern Ireland,

the two found one area that definitely agree on and that seems to be their white. Let's take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: To the Prime Minister, we have something in common. We both married and I'm not going to--

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm not going to - I'm not going to descend from that. I not going to disagree with that - he got anything else

I think.


SOARES: Well, First Lady Jill Biden, for her part, had a few surprise for her husband. Take a listen.


JILL BIDEN, U.S. FIRST LADY: I think he's so well prepared. I mean, he's, you know, we've, he's been studying for weeks. You know, working up to

today, of course, he knows most of the leaders that that will be here. And Joe loves foreign policy. This is his forte. So I think the meetings are

going to be great.


SOARES: CNN's White House Correspondent Arlette Saenz is traveling with U.S. President. She joins me now here in Falmouth. How is she right? Is

that his forte?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Biden surely likes to tout all of his foreign policy experience. He served as the

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations while in the Senate over the course of 36 years and then also those eight years traveling the globe, as

Vice President.

And really this is his first love his foreign policy is what his aides and advisers have said to him. And one thing about President Biden is that he

really has this brand of diplomacy that relies on those one on one relationship. And that is what you are seeing a play out right now, as he

had that first - very first face to face meeting with the British Prime Minister.

You heard the two of them talking about how they both married up. And it was interesting that the Prime Minister Johnson made this point that he

said there aren't going to be many areas where he disagrees with the President.

SOARES: It'll be right.

SAENZ: Yes. And so when it comes to the campaign to fight COVID-19, when it comes to military and intelligence, alliances between the two countries,

those are areas of where they do find terms of agreement as well as climate change.

We know that there's that big climate summit that the Prime Minister will be hosting later in the year.

SOARES: But there are areas very smaller areas is also a big sticking point. And that is the Northern Ireland protocol. And we know both leaders

have very different views about this. So how will President Joe Biden approach this topic you think, with the Prime Minister?

SAENZ: Well, this is an issue that's very personal to President Biden, you often hear him speak about his Irish roots. But the White House officials

have said that he intends to bring up the Northern Ireland, and what the post Brexit world will look like?

He is particularly concerned about a peace agreement in Ireland being up ended in this post Brexit world. They say he's going to talk about this

behind closed doors. They didn't do it in front of cameras, but that he's not going to be confrontational in his tone.

We also know that they've said that the President does not plan on getting involved in these negotiations. But he does want to make clear to the

British Prime Minister where exactly he stands.

SOARES: And from what you understand that the meeting is still ongoing. Is that correct?

SAENZ: Yes, from our understanding the meeting still ongoing, the two of them are in their Secretary of State Tony Blinken accompanied President

Biden here. He's been a longtime Adviser to the President and you also have the British Prime Minister with his side.

So we will see if we learn anything else that went on during that meeting, we're expecting them to actually sign that Atlantic Charter that they are

trying to tailor to the new threats of the 21st century. So we will see what more we learn from? The kind of nitty gritty that went on behind the


SOARES: Which is really what everyone wants to know, at least the body language looks right in front of the cameras it seems with the right

signals. Arlette Saenz, thank you very much. Becky, so as you heard a lot of the light - the relationship, it seems is started off on the right foot

at least in front of the cameras or cameras Becky.

But let's see what comes out in special in the topic of the Northern Ireland protocol, Becky?


ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely keep an eye on that. The optics is looking good. What lies behind those images though is what we are interested in? Thank

you. The company behind the controversial Keystone XL Oil Pipeline is officially pulled the plug on the project.

The pipeline is going to be built to transport oil from the tar sands of Canada into the U.S. Now for years it's served as a political football.

Environmental groups complained it with threatened drinking water and further drive climate change.

Those in favor of the pipeline argued it would boost America's energy security and create jobs. Joe Biden revolts a key pilot for the project on

his very first day in the office. While the company now says it will work with regulators, stakeholders and indigenous groups to ensure a safe exit.

You're watching "Connect the World" coming up, how bubbles could be the barrier to plastic pollution in our oceans?


ANDERSON: Well, to "Call to Earth" now, which is CNN's initiative to promote a more sustainable future. And it stories tonight from the

Netherlands about a simple but effective method of removing trash from our waterways.


PHILIP EHRHORN, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, THE GREAT BUBBLE BARRIER: I think for me, the ocean of water has always been fascinating. To see plastic in

our oceans and how it's damaging our environment that hurts, obviously, because I was thinking about all sorts of mechanical ways of how we can

live more in tune with environment rather than to exploit it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to the World Economic Forum, 8 million tons of plastic wastes are being leaked into our oceans every year. That's the

equivalent of an entire garbage truck being dumped every three minutes and the source of the problem the world cities.

FRANCIS ZOET, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, THE GREAT BUBBLE BARRIER: If you see some of the rivers in the Netherlands, but also in Spain, in Indonesia, you

can tell that this problem in the oceans it's being created by us and if we can stop it closer to home, it also becomes more visible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here in Amsterdam, a simple solution has been found that could stop up to 86 percent of plastic waste ever reaching the oceans.

A barrier made of bubbles.

EHRHORN: The way the Bubble Barrier works is basically just a tube that we placed diagonally on the bottom of the waterway. The tube has a lot of tiny

holes to pump out through it, and the air bubbles will rise to what's the surface. And then so we bring plastic which is in suspension towards the

surface and then at the surface together with the natural flow of the river.

We also bring plastic that's already at the surface towards one side of the river, which is our second component of the Bubble Barrier System, which is

where we retain the waste until it's removed and taken for processing. I think the simplicity of the system is what is really appealing. A theory is

just a tube and a - system.

If you want to do anything in rivers ship traffic is going to be dominant. That's an economic driver.


EHRHORN: We won't be able to stop that. So we would have to find a solution, which would be, you know, not hindering all the other existing

activities and of course also the eco system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Bubble Barrier does exactly that. While it provides no impediment to water traffic and marine life can pass through

freely, it also catches plastic waste of all sizes, anything from one millimeter scraps of micro plastic, to windsurfing boards, and abandoned


EHRHORN: So with every Bubble Barrier System that we're implementing, we're trying to work together with the city and you know, local NGOs, to evaluate

what the Bubble Barrier is catching to implement new policies and additional measures on land and upstream so that, collectively in the

future, we can work towards less plastic entering in the water in the first place.

ZOET: Our next step is a Bubble Barrier within Europe or actually multiple within Europe. And we of course, want to move to Asia, because we think we

can make a lot of impact there. And that's what we're going for it now.

EHRHORN: Bubble Barrier is one part of the approach; it's not going to be a silver bullet to just solve the whole plastic pollution problem. But we

think it's a significant and very important tool to really, you know, have a pragmatic approach of saying we know we are plastic in our oceans, we

know rivers and canals are major pathways.

We can stop this today to tackle this problem in a more integrated approach that we look at how are things being produced? How are things being

collected? How are they being processed and recycled?


ANDERSON: We will continue showcasing inspirational environmental stories like that as part of this initiative at CNN. And do let us know what you

are doing to answer the call. You can do that with the #calltoearth. I'm Becky Anderson. Thank you for joining us for what has been a special

edition of "Connect the World". CNN's World Sport is up next this evening.