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Connect the World
125 Plus Dead, Hundreds Missing in Europe's Devastating Floods; Survey Shows 44.5 Percent of Jakarta Has Been Infected; CNN Speaks to Mercy Corps Indonesia's Executive Director; Growing Uncertainty in Lebanon as Hariri Calls it Quits; EU Proposes Sweeping Plan to Fight Climate Change; COVID Cases in Tokyo a Week Before Olympics. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 16, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, London. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Well, this hour it started with rain and it has ended with vicious floods in large areas of Europe, is climate change
behind this crisis? I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World" this Friday.
A, rising death toll dramatic rescues and a lot of questions about climate change floodwaters in parts of Belgium punching through houses as if they
were paper as you can see here. Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg also hit with devastating flash floods.
Official say at least 125 people have been killed on that death toll they say could rise. Huge rescue effort now underway with hundreds of people
still unaccounted for. Some senior German and EU politicians are now blaming the climate crisis, Germany's Environment Minister declaring,
"Climate change has arrived in Germany".
Melissa Bell is now in nearby Liege in Belgium, where Melissa, you have been now for some hours just describe what you are witnessing, if you will.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is part of the International Rescue Operation that you mentioned a moment ago, it's painstaking, and
it's slow going. And for the people who are still trapped in their houses. It's simply not fast enough.
This is a part of the country where there is still no electricity. So electricity is down. There's no water. And for the people that we've seen
in their homes, and there are a lot of them inside, their fast running out of anything to eat and drink - and a few of a few of them that are on this
- is part of the Liege.
These are the French military personnel; they brought their equipment with them to help out. There are a few boats, but there is a lot of need a great
need the number of people who need rescuing really quite vast, there are those who prefer to stay.
But again, it is just the beginning of the ability of the outside world to get to these people in the very - Liege quite extraordinary scenes that
we've been seeing here, Becky, with people doing what they can to salvage to begin trying to clean their homes of the water of their businesses.
We were earlier on in another village where the water rose even higher than it did here in Liege all the way to the tops of the doors. And there we
were meeting people who'd had family businesses that went back 70 years and they stood amidst the rubble.
Because underneath this water, it is a thick layer of mud that had covered entire home all of their business and said, look, it's taken us 70 years to
build this. What do we have left, absolutely nothing. It's the very beginning of the sort of counting of the cost of these floods.
We haven't really started with that yet. For the time being, again, rescuers still trying to get to those who need to get out of their homes
the most urgently, others are just having to wait until the rescuers can get to them Becky and it looks like it's going to be a long, hungry and
ANDERSON: Wow! Well, authorities in this part of you're prepared and we're citizen's war of this potential crisis.
BELL: Well, I mentioned a moment ago, the village we were in just before coming to this bigger City of Liege. Paper stuff and what we were told
there by that by the people was that the floods had come already - by Wednesday morning, they were seeing the floods their cellars being flooded.
But it was a forced by yesterday that the big flash floods came, as I say, submerging huge parts of their homes. Imagine how terrifying it must have
been to see that water come to see the electricity go. And any communications with the outside world go as well.
You couldn't in the village we were just in even now get any phone reception. And so they waited on the top for us with their windows for help
that never came. It would have been a terrifying 24 hours. And I think the idea that these flash floods or the rains that caused them rather in some
parts we see more rain than they've seen in the last century.
That weather storm had been predicted but perhaps more long term that the constant - what are the consequences of climate change would be in this
part of the world. Heavy rains sudden flash floods especially in winter months that are something that experts have been warning about for months
and many years.
Why were Belgian and German authorities not better prepared without emergency response to get to people as quickly as you can, that appears not
to have happened and it's what the people that we've been hearing from here are the most shocked on how slow it's been to get any word any help from
the outside world. Becky?
ANDERSON: Melissa Bell reporting. Melissa, thank you. Well, let me bring in our Meteorologist at this point, Jennifer Gray. Jennifer, I just want you
to explain to our viewers just how climate is impacting on extreme rainfall? There is an acceptance among many leaders that climate change is
a factor for what is unfolding. So just explain how and why?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, so the bigger rain events, the downpours that we're seeing the one in 100 years rain events that is
directly linked to climate change. It's one of the things that we're most confident in that we'll see more of, in the coming years, because of the
We have a warmer atmosphere, when you have a warmer atmosphere; you're able to hold more moisture. And that's going to lead to an increase in rainfall.
According to data we get from Copernicus, Europe just had its warmest - 2nd warmest June on record. And so temperatures are awfully hot, not only
across Europe, but around the globe.
We had a similar event to this in May 2016, where heavy rainfall fell in France and Germany. And after several years of research, it proved that a
warmer climate may be event 80 to 90 percent, more likely than before human caused climate change.
So it's incredibly alarming. When you continue to see events like this happening and what happened across this region, we had showers - which mean
they rolled over the same area for hours on end. And so that's why you got about double the amount of rainfall we should receive in the month of July,
just in a couple of hours.
And so that's what led to the flash flooding, this area of low pressure, very slow moving, it just stalled out over the area. That's why it's
impossible to predict exactly where these flooding events are going to take shape? But you know they're going to happen because of climate change.
And you can see those areas shaded in hot pink. Those are the regions that received more than 100 millimeters of rain in just a couple of hours, the
Rhine River near Cologne; it has risen about 100 centimeters just since yesterday. So what happens is long after the rain is you still have all of
this water flowing from the higher elevations down into these valleys, the rivers will continue to rise hours after the rain has stopped.
And then of course, if you have a dam break or something like that, it's just going to make the flooding even worse. And so that's why people that
get in these situations, sometimes they think it's ended. But the flash flooding is only just beginning.
You can see the cars on top of each other right there in this graphic. And just the force behind the water is impressive. About 15 centimeters of
water can take a person off of their feet, and only 60 centimeters of water can lift a car.
So that's why we see these cars just flowing down streets that seem more like rivers and so it's incredibly dangerous moving forward, we are going
to see this system sort of drag to the south so the rain in this region has come to an end Becky but we are going to still see rain in the coming days
for region south around the Alps and then point south from there, Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you, very well explained. That's your weather for you and our top story out of Europe. Now on to Haiti and the growing questions over
who planned the assassination of the President Jovenel Moise and what the attackers actually knew about the plot?
Colombia's President says some of the commandos who stormed the presidential compound knew the ultimate goal was to kill the Haitian
President. Others though he says apparently believed they were being sent to detain Moise. 18 Colombians are under arrest in Haiti three others were
killed in a police shootout.
Matt Rivers connecting us from Port-au-Prince where he's been reporting on video not seeing much outside of Haiti this video as I understand it Matt,
shows the suspects on the run just describe what you've got at this point.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this clip really hasn't received nearly as much attention internationally as it should Becky. It
made the rounds here in Haiti quite a bit.
But after we saw it, you know, it's pretty striking because as far as we can tell, it's the only video of the mercenaries the alleged assassins
during this time period after they allegedly assassinated the president and before a shootout took place in which some were killed and then after many
And this is video, especially when you hear part of this video and what one of the men were saying during all this, it does shed some light on to the
mindset, importantly of these alleged mercenaries. I think many of them were confused as to exactly what was happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS (voice over): Just hours after Haiti's President was killed this video live streamed via local journalist shows some of the men accused of
killing him. Here you can see two of the Colombian mercenaries that officials say were part of the hit squad.
The first man is holding a rifle and signals for the journalists to stop. A second then stands up rifle glinting in the sun, they tell him to stop
recording. At this point, Haitian security forces had trapped the two dozen or so alleged assassins along this stretch of road at the bottom a
roadblock than the lookouts that the majority of the suspects holed up in this building.
Moving up the street and past the vehicles the suspects had abandoned on the road. The camera reaches that building. As it pans you can see two
things, several black clad mercenaries and this man one of the two Haitian Americans accused of taking part in the crime.
At this moment he's actually giving a live interview to Haiti Radio Mega saying they didn't kill the president. Someone did but we didn't do it he
says people inside the president's house started to shoot at us and we fired back to defend ourselves.
Vincent then says most of the group believed they were going to arrest the president not killing. The journalist who films them - who didn't want to
show his face said the group didn't seem to have a plan.
He says they knew they were in a tough position and knew the president was dead. They were confused, not sure whether to turn themselves in or fight.
Ultimately, some chose to fight and a fear shootout with police left at least three Colombians dead.
The easiest way to tell who actually killed the president would be to see the footage from CCTV cameras inside the presidential residence that a
source tells us captured most of what happened. But authorities have refused to release it or even describe its contents.
RIVERS (on camera): We know that there is CCTV footage from the presidential residence the night of the assassination. Why not release that
footage to the public? Would that not answer so many outstanding questions about who did this?
LEON CHARLES, HAITI NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF: So we cannot reveal to the public anything - any more information until the investigators allow us to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: And so Becky, we've heard from the Colombian President saying what some of the motivations were at least what these alleged mercenaries were
thinking or what they knew. We're hearing from the police chief here.
We're hearing from politicians in Haiti, who are we not hearing from? The actual the actual suspects them? And that is one thing I asked the Haitian
National Police Chief yesterday, after that question that you just saw, I had a follow up and I said when are we going to hear from these Colombians?
When are we going to hear from their legal representation? Do they even have lawyers representing them at this point? And just like he did in the
answer you saw on camera, he completely avoided answering that question.
And so as a result, all of these questions that we still have will remain because they're not willing to answer key questions about what the
Colombians knew, and perhaps more importantly, what the motive behind this assassination was?
ANDERSON: Matt Rivers is on the ground, Matt, thank you. Ahead on the show, Indonesia seeing a large uptick in the number of children dying of COVID
we'll tell you why their risk is so high. And with just a week left to go before the Olympics start COVID-19 cases there showing no signs of slowing
down in the host city we'll be live in Tokyo for you.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson for you. Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation
unfortunately seeing one of Asia's worst COVID, let me start that again - worst outbreaks of COVID-19.
A newly published survey of Jakarta in late March shows nearly half of the capital has been infected with the virus, half of the capital hospitals
across the country completely overwhelmed and its forcing people to treat the sick and dying at home.
Here you see a line of people waiting to refill oxygen tanks. Well, the country also seeing a large uptick in the number of very young kids dying
of COVID-19. Indonesia's Pediatric - he says about 1/4 of the children who have died from COVID died in the last two weeks, and many of them are under
the age of five.
Now doctors don't know why? But the Delta variant is much more contagious, as we know, and is making more people sick. And now they are unable to
provide these specialists care that children need. And this situation is worsened by misinformation, some parents refusing to get their children
Well, my next guest says Indonesia is at a critical juncture. And the government has to do something more drastic. Ade Soekadis is the Executive
Director of Mercy Corps in Indonesia. And he joins me now from Jakarta.
So just describe what you know, at present and what your organization is helping to do in what seems to be this ever worsening situation?
ADE SOEKADIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MERCY CORPS INDONESIA: Thank you for having me, Becky. Yes, indeed, our situation here in Asia is very bad, very
dire. Just look at the numbers two months ago in May, mid-May towards the end of Holy Month of Ramadan, we have 30,000 cases that of what 50 per day,
positivity rate of less than 15 percent is about 12 to 13 percent occupancy rate of hospitals, about 40 to 50 percent.
And people say that, you know, the pandemic was almost over two months later, right now, we almost hit 60,000 cases per day with death over 1000.
As a matter of fact, today, we hit a record of 1200 deaths. In a particular way it's quite high, almost 30 percent, nationwide and over 40 percent, in
Jakarta, with occupation rate of 100 percent in hospitals with half a million active cases, which is quite, quite high.
Indeed, the hospitals are overloaded, as you mentioned, Becky, healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses are overwhelmed, they're exhausted. But
the hardest hit is actually the most marginalized groups. The poor, such as informal workers, the disables the elderly, the minorities, those are the
group of people that we work with Mercy Corps, many cut off from the system, and they don't have safety net.
So we try our best to help the government for example, we provide medical supplies to hospital through the National COVID-19 Task Force. But there is
much you can do; there are still a lot of gaps that we need to fill. And that's why we need to have more stringent rules and moving forward in order
to contain this pandemic.
ANDERSON: What you've just described not bad enough, there has been a large uptick in children dying. Just explain why?
SOEKADIS: Yes, it is very interesting fact. As a matter of fact, I think one of the differences between the second wave - at night and the first
wave was actually the Delta variants. People say it's more contagious, more deadly, wickedly easily spread to different age's group.
So it is possibility that those kids under the age of five or even under the age of 12 that contracted the virus because of this, and it's also
probably due to the prevalence of the disease right now. They got exposed for the parents for the relatives.
So that's why you'll see a lot of cases involving kids, even below five years old. I think it is concerning I believe this is something that we
need to take care of moving forward.
ANDERSON: And the presence as we are seeing around the world of course, but specifically in Indonesia, reports that misinformation is playing a crucial
role in this crisis. Just explain how, sir?
SOEKADIS: Yes, indeed. I think the government and the task force for COVID- 19 is trying its best to provide accurate information timely and accurate information. Indonesia is very fast country, Becky, we have 70,000 Islands.
So information flow might not be as smooth as seamless as we'd like to have, indeed, we do have some gaps and discrepancy in terms of data in the
field. But I think we are trying our best with government and task force supported by civil society - look like Lapboard COVID, to make sure that we
keep on improving the numbers, the accuracy, also the timeliness of numbers of cases in Indonesia. But of course, we still have gaps and we need to
ANDERSON: It was the CDC in the states recently, who suggested that those who have not have had vaccines? Who can get vaccines, of course in the
U.S., but have chosen not to adults who have chosen not to vaccinate could be putting an entire generation of adolescence and indeed children at risk,
not just of death, but of long term illness going forward? Do you share those concerns? And what is the situation with regard vaccinations in
Indonesia at present?
SOEKADIS: Here currently, vaccination is going quite well. I think it's still a lot of improvement to be made. Currently, about 15 percent of the
population gets the first vaccine 6 percent totally vaccinated, of course, still a long way to go to vaccinate 200 million of in the nation.
But definitely the vaccination over here doesn't have an issue in terms of people who don't get vaccine. I think, based on the survey we have, I think
majority of people want to get vaccinated. And definitely the government also doing its best and us Mercy Corps also doing our best to actually
promote and make sure that people understand it is OK to get vaccinated.
It is necessary to get fascinated in order to get herd immunity and to bring this pandemic down under control. So I think we haven't seen a lot of
opposition to the vaccination in the larger groups. And I think, between government and civil society, we can work together to make sure that the
critical mass is on board and vaccination, even though we still need to speed up accelerate the vaccination here in Indonesia.
ANDERSON: It's extremely important that we have you on today and important that our guests are quite clear about what it is that you are saying? You
have said that Indonesia is at a critical juncture and that the government has to do something more drastic. What is that? What are you appealing for
SOEKADIS: Yes number one, definitely, in order to put this pandemic under control; we believe we need to have stranger mobility restriction. I think
government has already put in place for - measures right now, until the 20th of this month.
But I think looking at the number of cases we have right now it is possibility that we need to have even more stringent control for mobility.
That's number one. The second one is probably the behavioral change.
I believe, because of the law cases two months ago, people get completion. I believe the people the community has to play a part as well to make sure
that follow the protocol wearing masks, physical distancing avoiding crowd and washing hands. The communities, the people we work with needs to play
to play a role in that one.
The third one is fewer or much needed supplies, especially oxygen medicines - people line up oxygen. The government is trying its best by converting
factories to supply of oxygen and also supply. They're providing also free medicine for those who are doing self-isolation at home.
But I think definitely to ramp up the delivery of supplies are really key in order to bring down the cases. And lastly, as you said, like a
vaccination is key as well. I think the government needs to accelerate the vaccination. It needs to bring more people on board to make sure that we
have more vaccination center around Indonesia, especially in those remote areas across Indonesia.
So we can achieve in 200 million people vaccinated by the end of the year or maybe early next year. Those are the key critical activities and
initiatives need to be done in order to bring this pandemic under control.
ANDERSON: Connecting the world for you from Jakarta in Indonesia this hour thank you sir.
ANDERSON: Well, healthcare systems as you are well across Africa are feeling the strain of a surging number of new COVID infections. Well, it
made worse with fewer than 2 percent, 2 percent continents' population fully vaccinated.
This week COVID-19 deaths across the continent are up 43 percent and the W.H.O. warns that hospitalizations are rapidly increasing. Larry Madowo has
the relatively grim outlook from Nairobi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Rwanda - this 10 day lockdown which begins Saturday will be one of the strictest in all of Africa. People
are required to stay at home and not leave. There'll be no public gatherings; no public transport and businesses are closed except for
The Minister of Health in Rwanda saying that 60 percent of new cases are of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Rwanda is dealing with a third wave
of Coronavirus cases and has seen a positivity rate of 17.5 percent.
But Rwanda is not alone. There are restrictions in other parts of the continent. Uganda is on the back end of its own restrictions and Tunisia's
healthcare system has essentially collapsed and is now introducing a lockdown of its own.
The World Health Organization says week-on-week there was 43 percent increase in Coronavirus deaths, and Africa has had eight consecutive weeks
of increases in Coronavirus cases. And this is now at a point where Africa has seen 6 million Coronavirus cases and that last million was hit in just
the last month.
That is the fastest feeder to get to that million. The previous million took about three months. The big problem for Africa is that there's just
not enough people vaccinated only 1.5 percent of the African population is so far vaccinated. And that means that there might be restrictions again
and again as the Delta variant spreads.
It's so far been found in 21 countries. While parts of the West see protests over mandatory Coronavirus vaccinations. Many in Africa don't have
that luxury. If they have these vaccines, they could get their lives back to normal and begin to rebuild after this pandemic.
But that's just not an option that's available to so many in this part of the world. Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Lebanon's top politician quits and protesters take to the streets to show their outrageous as the country once again plunged into further
chaos and crisis.
ANDERSON: Another major political crisis unfolding in Lebanon as its top politician will certainly one of them hands in his resignation. Protesters
say they are losing hope as they face off with security forces on Thursday. They shut down major highways and indeed some ransacked businesses.
Official say 10 Lebanese soldiers were injured of demonstrations in Tripoli. The violence broke out after Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri
resigned even as the economy continues to crumble. Ben Wedeman has been following developments in Lebanon for years.
He brings us the very latest from Beirut. You and I spoke this time yesterday when it was clear that Saad Hariri had failed to get the
president to agree on his proposal for a new government 24 hours on, describe the mood and the scenes, Ben.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we saw in the immediate aftermath of that announcement, Becky was real anger by some
people, many of them young men, who blocked major highways within Beirut had clashes fairly violent clashes with the police where they were throwing
Molotov cocktails and rocks up the police and the army.
Keep in mind of course the police and the army have also as a result of the devaluation of the Lebanese currency, the leader seen their income their
buying power, basically cut by 90 percent. So they are also equally disheartened by the current situation.
And certainly, most people the immediate reaction was oh my god, because of the falling confidence in the local currency, the prices of everything are
going to go up because almost Lebanon imports, almost everything.
So people are just bracing for living standards to continue to fall and live to continue to get ever more difficult. For his part Saad Hariri, the
Former Prime Minister Designate, went on television. He talked about how as a result of this situation in Lebanon, he's no longer a billionaire.
And of course, he blamed the President of the Republic, Michel Aoun and his political allies, which includes Hezbollah for the failure of this attempt
to form a government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAAD HARIRI, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF LEBANON: The main problem is not Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. The main problem is Michel Aoun. We cannot be in
countries when the main problem is Michel Aoun and his alliance with Hezbollah, Hezbollah protecting Own and he does as he wishes. This is the
equation in Lebanon and those who do not see it are blind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEDEMAN: But of course the equation in Lebanon if you ask most people here is the problem is that you have war profiteers in warlords from the Civil
War 1975-1990 who remain in positions of power and have sucked this country's wealth dry.
That it is the political elite that have created this catastrophic situation where the economy has been plummeting now, for three years.
Living standards, as I said are falling just constantly.
There are shortages of medicine, fuel, food, electricity, you name it, it's in short supply and most people will repeat. What we heard back in 2019
during the protests, - in other words, all of them, meaning all of them when it comes to the political elite, bear the responsibility for the
collapse of Lebanon. Becky.
ANDERSON: That was 18 months ago. And so this continues, the international community has weighed in today. Ben, for what it's worth, what have we
WEDEMAN: Well, we heard from the United States from France, which is really been taking the lead on trying to get Lebanon's politicians to get their
act together. We've heard from the UN as well, the EU, all of them expressing disappointment and generally unhappiness with the situation
And we know that on Monday, EU foreign ministers have announced that they will come up with a legal framework for sanctions by the end of this month
to be imposed upon the Lebanese political leaders who are behind this stalemate.
And those sanctions will include travel bans and seizing of or freezing of their assets. And that might be some incentive to the politicians to put
their differences aside and form a government.
Why is it important to form a government because only a proper government because now we only have a caretaker government, can take the decisions,
the kind of reforms, and the kind of action against the widespread corruption?
WEDEMAN: And therefore free up the situation whereby the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other donors will be confident to try to
help Lebanon a bailout - Lebanon and stop this catastrophic fall in this country's economy and its basic services, Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman on the ground for you in Beirut. Ben, thank you. Well, South Africa's president says the violence that has afflicted his
country over the past week was planned.
Cyril Ramaphosa is promising his government will find those responsible. 25,000 troops are now being deployed to Johannesburg and to surrounding
areas to restore order at least 117 people have died in this unrest. David McKenzie reports from Durban where a long recovery is ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Police trying to move away shop owners when looters attacked Durban shops the police did
very little. Now why are the police here, why were they here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police are yet to tell us that we're not yet to barricade the roads because we must open it up and go home and allow them
to attack ourselves. Everybody has lost two or three shops. We are standing on the seat to guard ourselves. There's no police there's no army. There's
no one to help us. We are own army here.
MCKENZIE (voice over): In Durban's neighborhoods, uncle's fathers and brothers acted manning roadblocks, Chicanes torching the cars of suspected
losers, in some cases, assaulting them.
SUJIT GAJADHUR, MECHANIC: If you're going to come up this road firing at us and threatening our livelihood, as per the South African Constitution, I'm
obligated to defend myself.
MCKENZIE (voice over): They say they will leave when the military shows up, South Africans now living with the aftermath. Soccer Coach - and his son
Samuel walked an hour to help clean up the remnants of this mall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying to come together. The South African support each other. What's happened in the past, hoping everyday we're
coming, making no money.
MCKENZIE (voice over): But many people here fear it won't. It won't be normal for a very long time. Mr. President, ordinary citizens have taken
the law into their own hands and they feel let down by the state. Why did it take so long to secure these returns?
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: Yes, ordinary citizens have felt that they need to defend, to defend their areas, to defend their assets.
And we welcome, we welcome the fact that ordinary citizens are working together with the security forces standing up not only to defend their own
assets, but they're also defending our democracy.
MCKENZIE (voice over): For the president, the military did finally make a show of force David McKenzie, CNN, Durban, South Africa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, still to cover world without gas guzzling cars, how Europe hopes to pull that off a lot faster, unexpected. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Europe marching towards an end to gas powered cars or at least that is what the EU says is their ambition this week unveiling a green new
deal to fight climate change. That deal includes a proposal to stop producing gas vehicles by 2035. And to eventually win all 27 EU members of
Now the deal also proposes heavy taxes on all non-renewable energy. The idea is to reduce emissions by 55 percent in 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
EU officials acknowledged the changes could and likely will put jobs at risk. And there is no doubt this will be a tough sell to member states.
The spokesperson for the EU Green Deal summed up the sweeping proposals by saying doing nothing on climate change is not an option. Acting now EU
countries can design how we do that green transition. And that Spokesperson Vivian Loonela joins us now live. It's great to have you with you, the
headlines out of this announcement really quite exciting.
It has to be saved for anybody who is anxious about the climate crisis, but new taxes on oil and gas and end to combustion engines. This is very
ambitious and begs a very obvious question, is this realistic?
VIVIAN LOONELA, EUROPEAN COMMISSION GREEN DEAL SPOKESPERSON: Hi and it's pleasure to be here. Well, indeed, we believe it is realistic. In the
European Union, we have set the target that Europe would be the very first continent to be climate neutral by 2050. And in order to get there, we need
to have a clear plan.
And this is indeed then what we presented this week. It shows us how we will get by 2030 to a situation where we are changing our economy in a way
that we bring down the greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent compared to 2030.
What is the aim there is really to make sure that we have economic growth, but we decouple it for resource use, we do it in a smarter way driving
innovation. And an important part that you said yourself is to make sure that it's fair that it's something that we can afford.
And I think to look at that first is that we cannot afford not doing anything or to continue the way things just are. Because when we look at
it, the situation is that we see climate change to hinge going up faster and faster.
We see air pollution, we lose currently 400,000 people a year in Europe, and they die because of air pollution. So these are all the matters that
lead us to take these texts this week and put on the table that proposal that indeed, they touch upon all the areas of our economy, the transport,
taxation, energy, climate, environment. But we have done our calculations and see that this is something that is achievable.
ANDERSON: OK, it's achievable as long as everybody signs up to it. And let's be quite clear. You know, getting 27 member states to sign up to
something which is likely to significantly impact jobs for their constituents is going to be tough, isn't it?
I mean, look, Germany has already promised to cut its emissions 65 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, but Germany really an outlier. I do understand
that there are a number of countries who've made huge efforts.
But even what we would call the old Europe, still lagging significantly behind, for example, those targets that Germany has set itself on a
national level. And then you get to other countries that simply do not have the same sort of ambitions, nor even the idea that they agree necessarily
with all of what you have put out.
So this is a really important question. I know you've said it is you believe it's realistic, but ultimately can you get those member states to
sign up to this?
LOONELA: In fact, they already have because in the European Union we have the climate law. It's an obligation which has - which says we will be
climate neutral by 2050. And we will bring down our greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030. That is already low. And that in fact, is
the basis from where we now came with our proposals that show us step by step how to get there. So--
ANDERSON: And that's important. Let me just stop you there because those roadmaps are really important. And I applaud you for that because whenever
we and we'll be doing a lot of this as we move towards the COP meeting in Glasgow in November, and then beyond.
It's so important that we begin to drill down on the details, not just what the world wants to achieve, but how the world will achieve it. So it's
great to have a roadmap. And that roadmap, of course, will reveal what I guess you believe the EU will look like, for example, 20 years from now.
So let's discuss that and discuss how you will sell to these individual countries, the idea that there is a significant financial burden on
governments and citizens here.
LOONELA: Absolutely, the whole aim of it is also that when we look at our economy, we see that the current fossil fuel economy has reached its
limits; we need to move to a new model that is based on innovation.
And I think by looking at it, one of the basic principles in this roadmap that we put forward this week is the around the emission trading system,
really putting a price on carbon. So that is, incentivize the industry to move to greener options.
And we see that this has worked very well over the past years, it's something that is already there. Now we're just bringing down the caps of
emissions that are allowed and increasing the price for those that is there.
And that's something which is it has already proven system. It's a proven system. It has worked; it has brought down emissions in a number of
economic areas. Now we're extending it also to transport and to building and making sure that it's, you know, it's stronger than before.
ANDERSON: What do you say to those people who are going to lose their jobs in the fossil fuel industries? Look, we're seeing terrible flooding right
now, across Europe.
As awful as it sounds, where the tragedy is surely like this will help make your case that urgent climate action is needed? But what about for those
who will lose their jobs and their livelihoods, what's your message?
LOONELA: That's a very important point that you're making. And our message is, and has been over the past two years that we've been working on this
European Green Deal is that unless this transition is just unless it is just for everyone in Europe, there will be no transition.
And we've put aside or so for example, the just transition fund, which is exactly this, it's your money, your budget, targeting those sectors. And
those regions, which are hit the hardest by this green transition, where you have coal mines closing where you have lignite mines, mines closing.
And where we help with European money together with the member states, of course, to make sure that they can make this transition because we have
perfect examples where this has been done and successfully done.
So - and so we are pushing forward with that making sure that the help is there. And we're very, very conscious of the fact that people must be able
to feel passed out to the benefits of the work that we're doing.
And for that, for example, through this just transition fund, we have financing for re skilling people for helping them to start up new companies
for renovating their houses for local infrastructure and so on. So not all these things we've thought of as well.
ANDERSON: Last question to you. The European Union accounts for about 8 percent of the world's carbon emissions, which is actually extremely low,
of course. How do you convince the big carbon emitters, we're talking about the U.S. and China and India, for example, that this course is the right
one to take, whilst we might hear some headlines coming out of those countries?
And certainly China leads the way on renewable. You know, we are well clear that these are big carbon emitters. And we're not going to see the end of
the, you know, the combustion engine in any of those places anytime soon.
LOONELA: Absolutely, that's something which is very clear there. We are very committed in Europe to this green transition. But there is no point in
doing it alone. And this is why our dialogue with our international partners is hugely important.
We've seen already the good messages coming out of Japan or South Korea, U.S. on their commitment to bringing down their emissions as well and
working towards this climate neutrality.
And for that, of course, the COP in Glasgow will be hugely important to make sure that we make a success out of it. But indeed, the work has to be
But I think when we look at it, we come back again to the thing is it affordable because I think every country realizes that we need to act, we
see the floods, we see storms, we see the extreme heat, there is a need to act on that.
LOONELA: But by showing in Europe also of clever ways how this can be done, how we define the policies, we believe this is also how we can encourage
other countries to, to work with us and follow our lead on that.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. Your analysis and insight is extremely valuable.
Thank you. When we come back, it's never too late to get the - get to the top of your game. We'll have more on the records this 97 year old is
setting, that after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World". COVID-19 is on a relentless surge in Tokyo. Today the city confirming more than 1200 new cases just a
week before the Olympic opening ceremony.
Protesters calling for the games to be canceled, that is not a news story. You've been hearing us reporting on that now for months. The Olympic Chief
though is being criticized for visiting in Hiroshima Memorial early today; he is deeply unpopular for pushing ahead with these games during the
He says the Olympics will not be a big COVID risk to the people of Japan. Let's get you to Blake Essig who is joining me live from Tokyo.
Where what a week out and there have been calls from people in Japan continued calls to cancel these games. Is that still the overall message
from locals that you've been speaking to?
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely Becky, these Olympic Games have and continue to be deeply unpopular with the majority of the Japanese
people. The effort by Olympic organizers to cement a positive legacy and create an upbeat tone for these games through pre-Olympic events like the
torch relay simply has not worked.
Ipsos MORI poll recently released shows that nearly 80 percent of people in Japan say the Olympics should not be held tens of thousands of people from
28 countries, including Japan were surveyed and more than half close to 60 percent say the games shouldn't go ahead.
Now this poll was conducted after the ban on spectators and increased border control measures are already put in place in so you know, to prevent
the spread of infection.
And the reality here is that the attempts to ease the health and safety concerns haven't worked, and that the vast majority of people still oppose
In fact, I spoke with people earlier today at an anti-Olympic protest who told me that it's not too late to cancel the games even though they're set
to start in just seven days. They say long after the world spotlight has come and gone, it's the people of Japan that will be left to deal with the
ANDERSON: Very briefly, the Olympic Chief Thomas Bach sparking outrage over that visit into Hiroshima. And what more do we know?
ESSIG: Yes, Bach's visit was met with anger from people who felt that he used Hiroshima's image as a tool to increase the Olympic support. And given
the loss of life as a result of the pandemic of airborne survivor said that his visit runs counter to the spirit of the games.
Bach is already very unpopular here in Japan with many feeling like he and the IOC are forcing the games to go ahead despite the pandemic, Becky.
ANDERSON: Blake Essig reporting out of Tokyo for you, as we say just that countdown really towards the back end now right. And count on CNN to bring
you the very latest and what are - I can only describe them this is unprecedented games.
Cnn.com is where you can see our Special Olympics coverage. And there you will find news stories analysis. As the athletes set their sights on
Olympic gold do learn more about that remarkable journey in many instances as they head into these games.
Finally, for one man age certainly is just a number. 97-year-old Leonid Stanislavskyi is officially the world's oldest tennis player. Training
three times a week he is preparing for the 2021 Super Seniors World Championships due to be held in October.
It is the first time the International Tennis Federation has introduced a 90 and over age group after he sent a written request for it to be added.
The Ukrainian even says his ultimate goal is to live to 100 to get this take on Roger Federer.
Now that is a match we'd certainly be tuning in before. Then that's game setting match for us this week. Stay safe stay well, wherever you are
watching in the world. It is a very good evening from the team working with me here in London and those working with me in Abu Dhabi and around the
world. "One World" with Eleni Giokos is next.