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Connect the World

William Shatner Makes History as Oldest Person in Space; Supply Chain Disruptions, Energy Crunch Mark New Phase of Recovery; IEA: Outlook for Net Zero Emissions by 2050 is Bleak; Blood Samples in China could be Clue to COVID's Origins; Real Life Squid Game in Abu Dhabi. Aired 11.34a- 12p ET

Aired October 13, 2021 - 11:34   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, you've been watching coverage of William Shatner making history as the oldest person in space

after a successful launch of the Blue Origin New Shepard rockets Captain Kirk in space for real at the age of 90 young.

You're watching "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson. Back on Earth the global energy crisis exposes just how fragile our world's supply chains

are. You are watching "Connect the World", I am Becky Anderson for you.

Ports packed with containers to be shipped petrol price is on the rise and consumers like you or me paying more for well, an awful lot of things and

waiting for items we ordered that may never arrive.

These are some of the new realities of the current phase of this pandemic recovery. Shipping containers piling up at ports in the U.S. and the UK,

how best to move them out? President Joe Biden will turn his attention to that in the coming hours.


ANDERSON: He'll meet with port operators, labor and trucker groups and executives in the U.S. from companies like Wal-Mart and FedEx. And let's

not forget the energy crunch. As the world powers back up, demand for energy is driving prices to sometimes record levels.

With winter on the way the European Commission is looking at emergency payments and tax cuts to help vulnerable households stay on the grid.

Russia could also play a bigger role, but not without strings attached, it seems.

President Vladimir Putin said today he is open to discussing additional steps with European partners. He denied Russia is making a weapon of energy

and he made a push for Russia's controversial pipeline to Germany, which is finished, but it hasn't yet been approved.

While Russia and the EU deal with the current crisis as do other countries around the world, the International Energy Agency is looking further into

the future. The IEA just released its global energy outlook ahead of next month's COP26 climate --the bottom line, we need to triple clean energy

investments by 2030.

The report found that while the use of clean energy is growing, the world needs a much, much more ambitious plan if it wants to hit net zero

emissions by 2050. The head of the IEA, the IEA spoke to CNN earlier.


FAITH BIROL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY: Looking at the challenges we have in front of us both energy challenges and climate

challenges. We need to accelerate our efforts in terms of the solar wind, electric cars and other clean energy technologies.

Otherwise, we may well see A, more turbulence in the energy markets as we are experiencing now. And B, we may well be short of reaching our climate


ANDERSON: Well, more than 50 countries have agreed to a 2050 deadline for net zero carbon emissions. But the IEA found those emissions will fall by

just 40 percent by the deadline. One reason is the world's stubborn appetite for fossil fuels, which the report expects to hit peak demand in

just four years. The IEA chief says it's a burden all countries must bear.

BIROL: It is even in the benefits of the interests of the rich countries because emissions going into the atmosphere from Jakarta or from Detroit or

from Stockholm from --. It has the same effect on everybody.


ANDERSON: We are well covered on this story. Let's get you to our CNN Business Correspondent, Clare Sebastian Clare at a point at which the world

is so many people in the world are gunning for a pivot to clean energy.

So we see the demand for these dirty fossil fuels increasing and many parts of the world facing an energy crunch at this point. Let's talk about these

findings in the IEA report. If countries live up to their climate commitments, demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025.

But CO2 emissions would only fall by 40 percent by 2050. The world is still consuming tens of millions of barrels of oil a day and we'll continue to do

so. So where are we at, at this point?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, a really stark warning from the IEA. They're basically saying that the current commitments are not

enough that more needs to be done. But at the same time, this is a warning to the fossil fuel industry that under every scenario that the IEA studied,

that peak oil will eventually be hit and we need to start planning for that.

But as you say, this is a heavily complicated in this sort of immediate time by the crisis that we're seeing the soaring energy prices have

prompted calls for more fossil fuels.

The IEA has asked for Russia to pump more gas to Europe, the U.S. has been calling on OPEC to produce more oil. People are very concerned about the

immediate term, how we, you know, ramp up investment in clean energy at the same time as ensuring that we don't get major destructive shortages, in

energy, just as economies are trying to recover from COVID-19 and bracing for a potentially very cold winter.

That's why you see Europe today saying this is a wakeup call. We need to ramp up investment. But at the same time, they're saying we need to spend

money to try to get our vulnerable populations through this crisis in the medium term. It's a very difficult policy sort of moment for these



ANDERSON: Yes. And the IEA, which of course, is have been a representative for the energy industry, which for years meant representing the fossil fuel

industry. I am saying today that spending on clean energy must triple to curb climate change.

Do we see evidence that governments that companies that there is ambition for that sort of target at this point, we've certainly seen an enormous

amount of money pledged. But is it actually is it actually there? Is it actually being spent?

SEBASTIAN: Well, at the moment, the IEA is saying that it is, you know, there are a lot of commitments out there, but it's not necessarily going to

the right places. They say that 70 percent of that spending needs to happen in the next 10 years, Becky in developing economies.

Right now it doesn't appear that that is happening. So what the IEA is calling for is what they what they call an unmistakable signal from

governments at the COP26 summit next month to send it to the markets to consumers, to private investors, that this spending needs to happen that

this is now not just a sort of a climate impulse that they need to follow.

But this is a market impulse because obviously, what they're warning is that the current sort of volatility that we're seeing in energy, energy

prices, the soaring prices that are affecting consumers, that is a wakeup call that will keep happening if they don't manage this energy transition


ANDERSON: Clare Sebastian in the House, thank you very much indeed, Clare, you know, it is always a pleasure having you on. Thank you. Claire

Sebastian is out of New York for you. Well, it's been one of humanity's most enduring mysteries for nearly two years now.

What is the origin of the virus that has killed upwards of 5 million people and brought the world to its knees in the process? Well, China may find

some answers in tens of thousands of blood samples in a Wu Han blood bank.

They will, as we understand it be tested soon. But just how much information Beijing will actually reveal and when remains unclear? Nick

Paton Walsh has more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice over): Ground zero for the illness sparking global unease.

MAUREEN MILLER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGIST: It is likely a brand new viral pneumonia.

WALSH (voice over): It is perhaps the last publicly known clue to where Coronavirus came from. But will the world ever learn the truth of what it

says. Tens of thousands of tiny blood samples taken in Wu Han, in the last months of 2019 are still stored in a hospital there.

MILLER: The samples from the blood bank absolutely will contain vital clues.


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

WALSH (voice over): The samples might reveal when and even where antibodies against the virus first appeared in humans in October or November two years

ago. China says they had to be kept for legal reasons for two years in case of lawsuits over the blood transfusions they're from.

But now that limit is almost up for the key months at the end of 2019. And a Chinese official confirmed to CNN that China is preparing to test them

echoing a promise from July when they said they would share the results.

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

foreign expert teams. The samples come from the disposable tubes that carry donor blood into the donor bag.

And as something that W.H.O team said earlier this year, they wanted to examine. They could contain vital detailed information.

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

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

population in China.

MILLER: It is common practice to de identify the samples. So you could strip it down to basic demographics, age, gender, neighborhood where they

lived. All of those data will be available.

WASLH (on camera): The same problem emerges again, it will be China and China alone doing the testing and reporting their results. The U.S.'s

recent report into the origins of the Coronavirus and statements from allies has all demanded greater transparency from China.

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


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

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

DR. SCHAFFNER: What we always say is trust but verify. It truly would be better if the Chinese scientists would permit external scientists to be

with them to collaborate to do this all together.

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



ANDERSON: Well, coming up on the show, while these why these Peruvian farmers on an existential mission in the Andes more on that after this.


ANDERSON: Well, on "Call to Earth" this week, we are taking a look at how traditional foods can protect the planet as well as human food security.

More than 75 percent of the crop varieties that were grown 100 years ago are now believed to be extinct because of monoculture farming where farmers

grow only one type of crop at a time.

And today we are in the Peruvian Andes where over 4000 different varieties of potato are grown. Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): I can't let them be forgotten. Because all the flavors I know now how to grow them. And in that way, I can keep

the varieties alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): At the foothills of the central Peruvian Andes lives Esperanza Gabrielle. She's a potato custodian, helping to

conserve a personal collection of over 300 ancestral potato varieties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): This one is - inside it has --.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Stef De Haan from the International Potato Center in Lima works with hundreds of custodians like Esperanza.

STEF DE HAAN, SENIOR SCIENTIST, INTERNATIONAL POTATO CENTER: So you can almost compare them like to coin collectors or to stamp collectors. They

are really important because potato custodians are basically the guardians of the traditional knowledge and they're also the guardians of the

diversity itself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Between the two of us, we have been growing these seeds for 20 years. Those from my husband's side and those I


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): There are about 4000 varieties of native potato in the world and most of them are grown in the Andes, while only a

handful are available in supermarkets around the world.

HAAN: If we don't preserve the whole genetic base of these potatoes, it would basically mean that we have no options in the future to diversify our

food system. So we will be highly dependent on very few varieties and it would make us extremely vulnerable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Climate change is threatening global agriculture systems making this kind of diversity, an insurance policy for

our future food security.

HAAN: The Andean farmers where they grow potatoes are very risky. So there's a lot of disease pressure, there's a lot of hail, there's a lot of

frost. And basically growing these potatoes together in mixtures is a risk avoidance strategy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): For Esperanza, the motivation is not only protecting diversity, but the simple desire to feed her family.

ESPERANZA GABRIEL, POTATO CUSTODIAN: We grow potatoes to eat and also for selling as well. And we keep things storage for us to use throughout the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): A traditional local dish is "Pacha Manga". The potatoes are steamed underground with hot stones.

HAAN: You could say that the Andean farmers are really the connoisseurs or the sommeliers of the potatoes.

GABRIEL: My mother taught me. Now I want to teach my daughters so that they can continue cultivating the varieties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Potato custodians have been protecting seeds for centuries. For Stef De Haan, valuing traditional agriculture is

the only way to ensure biodiversity will evolve and remain available to future generations.

HAAN: As soon as you put a potato in a gene bank, it becomes something static. With the farmers, it's really something that is continuously

adapting. So some things are getting lost.

Some things are getting added. It's a laboratory that's not managed by scientists. It's a laboratory that is basically more than 10,000 years of

evolution in the hands of farmers.


ANDERSON: And we will continue showcasing inspirational environmental stories like that as part of the initiative here at CNN. And let us know

what you are doing to answer the call. You can use the #call to earth. We're going to take a very short break. We'll be back after this.



ANDERSON: South Korea's Squid Game is now officially the biggest series launch ever for Netflix. And it is turning into a cultural hit from games

featured in the show to outfits worn by the characters fans from around the world, trying to recreate what they are seeing in the series. Selina Wang

has more for you.


SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Taste of childhood in South Korea, a sweet treat stamped with a symbol that many

Koreans remember as part of a children's game. The trick in this honeycomb challenge is to carve out the shape without cracking it innocent and fun.

Until it's played on the hit Netflix series Squid Game, or a broken point of a star or a cracked umbrella handle means you lose the game and your

life. The vendor who made the treats called Dalgona is for the Squid Game set says he turned out three to 400 of them for the filming.

Now customers are lining up at his roadside stall, sometimes waiting for six hours for a taste of them.

LIM CHANG-JOO, DALGONA VENDOR: Of course I'm happy because my business is doing well. And I'm happy with how this has become famous in other


WANG (voice over): The honeycomb game is gaining fans around the world trending on social media and even being played at this cafe in Singapore.

WANG CHEN, SOFTWARE ENGINEER: If you look at her, look at her. This is a disaster. She might have been there in the first minute.

WANG (voice over): The game red light green light, also getting a fresh set of lakes --because of Squid Game. Fans of the Philippines acting up the

starts and stops of that contest in front of a doll just like the deadly head turner from the show.

And for anyone looking to take their fandom to the next level, you too can dress like player 456. Netflix is expanding its efforts to sell merchandise

from the series by partnering with retail giant Wal-Mart with Halloween and the holidays fast approaching. Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.


ANDERSON: And it was all fun and games last night here in Abu Dhabi as fans of the show took a stab at a real live version of the Squid Game at the

Korean cultural center. 30 players were pitted against one another. Don't worry, there was no risk of death for elimination guards used toy guns

while they donned the iconic pink suits and ominous masks.

But that didn't stop the rivalry. The event held four of the challenges shown in the series, including the honeycomb challenge, which I must say

doesn't look easy. That's goodbye from "Connect the World" here in Abu Dhabi. "One World" is next tonight from the expo just stopped the road in


We leave you with a look at the Blue Origin rocket lift off just a short time ago in Texas, a successful event for William Shatner at 90 years of

age. Good night.