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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

What Can We Expect From COP26 Climate Summit; Race A Tight Balance For Virginia Candidates Youngkin And McAuliffe; Biden: China Not Living Up To Commitments On Climate. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 01, 2021 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good Monday morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. It is just about 30 minutes past the hour -- time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

President Biden lands in Scotland any minute now for a key climate summit. Overnight, the Biden administration released its strategy to reach -- to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It includes switching over to electric vehicles and buildings and reducing emissions from super-pollutants. We'll bring you a live report from Glasgow in a moment.

JARRETT: The New York City Fire Department is preparing for a 20 percent cut in services starting today. About 2,000 firefighters are taking medical leave ahead of the city's vaccine mandate. Over 90 percent of the city's municipal workers have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, including 80 percent of firefighters.

ROMANS: This morning, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments over a Texas abortion law. The measure bans nearly all abortions in the state and allows private citizens to sue health providers. Today's arguments will not address the merits of the law. The justices are only deciding whether the Justice Department and abortion providers are entitled to challenge the law.

JARRETT: Jury selection begins this morning in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. You'll remember him -- the 18-year-old who is accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during a protest last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The defense claims Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.

ROMANS: A suspected act of anti-Semitism at George Washington University. A Torah scroll, one of the holiest items in Judaism, vandalized inside a fraternity house. It was torn and covered in liquid laundry detergent.

JARRETT: The University of Florida banning three of its professors from testifying in a major voting rights case against the state. The professors had been hired as expert witnesses but the school says their testimony would create a conflict of interest.

ROMANS: All right, today is the day experts are calling the world's last best chance to address the climate crisis. President Biden is heading to Glasgow for the COP26 summit. That's a crucial gathering of world leaders. The goals are high. The reality of what comes from the summit, we will see.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And overnight, the White House released key elements of its climate plan, including moving to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035, switching over to electric cars, and helping Americans transition from those old wasteful appliances.

It's now time for three questions in three minutes, so let's bring in CNN chief climate correspondent Bill Weir. Bill, nice to see you this morning.

ROMANS: Hey, Bill.

JARRETT: So, the climate crisis, as you --


JARRETT: -- have been reporting, is here. It's not theoretical. How optimistic are world leaders going into this that something will actually get done?

WEIR: Well, early indications, not very. Unfortunately, Boris Johnson hosting this climate -- the COP26. They've been at this 25 years.

I mean, the clue is in the number in the title, and therein says we are now one minute from midnight in terms of saving life as we know it on this planet. The planet will be fine. It's been spinning for four billion years through fire and ice.

It's about us. It's about the world we've created in vulnerable places -- on coastlines and in deserts, and in forest fire-ravaged areas -- and how we manage that going forward.

The indications from the G20 were not great. I think people from the global south who are looking for the wealthiest nations to step up and say yes, this is a problem we largely made and we will help you brace for it -- they're not getting those indications as well. There was failure to agree on basically how and when to put out this global housefire that we have, while they did agree it is -- it is an existential problem.

Countries like Australia are very hesitant to get off of coal, for example, or sign onto a pledge to decrease methane, which is a super- pollutant of greenhouse gas created largely by fracking and drilling, and even cows -- agriculture -- cattle agriculture and landfills.

So, there's the -- there's the physical world that -- you know, the laws of physics that don't care how we vote or who we pray to, and then there's the political world and the rise of nationalism and resource -- you know, scrambling for resources on an overcrowded planet. And that is what the folks here are coming to. But you've got to go into this with a sense of hope and optimism --



WEIR: -- that 30,000 folks around the world who really care about this are here this week to try to do something about it.

ROMANS: We know that the G20 over the weekend -- the leaders of the G20 nations -- they failed to lock up some key climate pledges, including net-zero emissions and an end date for the use of coal.

For people at home, what's the most pressing need in the U.S. and around the world, and why?

WEIR: Well, what's interesting is the Biden White House saying they're going to move up 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. That's a pretty astounding promise to make, especially when his package is all about carrots and not a lot of sticks. They're giving incentives -- tax breaks to folks who want to buy an electric car, but if you're plugging in your car and at the other end of that extension is a coal- fired power plant, it doesn't do anyone any good.

So, the original idea was to basically punish big utility companies over time if they don't switch to cleaner fuels. The Joe Manchins of the world are opposed to that so that's been stripped out as well.

But that's the single-biggest thing initially is to electrify the grid -- essentially get away from coal is the -- by far, the worst. Natural gas -- methane is better but it's still not great. And now, the renewables are so cheap and so competitive there's hope -- there's a hope that there could be a nudge in that direction.

The Department of Defense, the Pentagon maybe have the biggest carbon footprint in the world. If he could electrify those vehicles, those pieces of machinery it would be huge.

JARRETT: Bill, so many poor countries are feeling the effects of climate change right now. We've been talking, obviously, about what could be done here in the U.S. but what commitments are being made to those in the immediate need right now?

WEIR: Well, this is such an unfair crisis. The young people didn't create it but they have to live with it. The poorest countries didn't really contribute all that much to the problem and they are tasting the wrath.

There was a promise of $100 billion a year to those developing nations from the richest. That promise was made years ago and has not been kept. Now, best case estimates -- they'll start getting -- seeing that money about 2023 or so. Boris Johnson, today, is calling for an extra billion and a half into that fund as well.

So, that question is about sort of loss and damages created by this, which is a huge sticking point. The United States has really lobbied against any sort of punitive punishment in the loss and damages category. But then, activists and environmentalists who say it's a moral responsibility to step up and help those folks both skip the industrial revolution that the developed world did by using climate- cooking fuels --


WEIR: Skip that, move right to coal, and then brace for the worst.

ROMANS: Bill Weir, so nice to have you this morning. I know it's going to be a really big day for you. CNN's chief climate correspondent. Thanks, Bill. Nice to see you.

All right, tomorrow is Election Day and the most closely-watched race will be the Virginia governor's race. It's a tight balance for both candidates.

Republican Glenn Youngkin is straddling the line on how much to distance himself from former President Trump. He just stumped in the southwest part of the state, which went deep red last November.


GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The polls look pretty good. The polls look pretty good. Polls do not win elections; votes do, votes do. We have got to turn out the vote. And I will tell you a vote in southwest Virginia counts more than any vote in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.


JARRETT: Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is also struggling to balance how much to focus on the former president.


TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Glenn Youngkin has said so much of the reason why I'm running for governor is because of Donald Trump. That's his quote. So let me finish with this. So much of the reason why I'm running is because of you, not Donald Trump.


JARRETT: Last night, a very different tone from McAuliffe.

CNN's Arlette Saenz is on the ground for us in Virginia.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Christine and Laura, Terry McAuliffe made a full-court press across Virginia over the weekend, making his final sales pitch to voters here in the Commonwealth. Now, McAuliffe has been talking up his record as a former governor of the state, including his job creation record.

And he's also been slamming his GOP opponent Glenn Youngkin, calling him clueless and dangerous. Now, just as McAuliffe has throughout the campaign, he continued to tie Youngkin to the former president Donald Trump.

Take a listen to what McAuliffe had to tell voters in Manassas about former President Trump's interest in this race.

MCAULIFFE: Trump wants to win here so he can announce for president for 2024. That's the stakes of this election. He's trying to get himself off the mat. He wants to win here Tuesday -- and Wednesday, Donald Trump announces he's running in 2024. Are we going to allow that to go on here?


SAENZ (on camera): Now, McAuliffe is hoping that by invoking the former president's name -- talking about his possible future presidential ambitions -- that will serve as a motivating factor for Democrats and Independents heading into Tuesday.


Now, McAuliffe campaigned here in Henrico County. This is an area of Virginia where Democrats have made gains in recent years, but it still remains an incredibly competitive area.

And a bit later today he will be hitting some of the biggest states (sic) across Virginia -- Roanoke, Virginia, Richmond -- and then ending the day in northern Virginia as he's hoping to drive out more voters to the polls on Tuesday -- Christine and Laura.


ROMANS: All right, Arlette. Thank you so much for that.

All right, billionaire Elon Musk says he'll donate $6 billion to the U.N. if it can prove the claim it would solve world hunger. The head of the U.N.'s World Food Programme said on CNN that a small group of ultrawealthy people could save tens of millions of people on the brink of starvation.


DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: And the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis, $6 billion, to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them. It's not complicated.

And this is what's heartbreaking -- I'm not asking them to do this every day, every week, every year. We have a one-time crisis -- a perfect storm of conflict, climate change, and COVID. It's a one-time phenomenon.


ROMANS: He's asking for $6 billion. Musk is worth $311 billion. Just Friday, by the way, his net worth grew more than $9 billion. So, Musk responded on Twitter that the U.N. can show how $6 billion will solve world hunger, "I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it."

The U.N.'s David Beasley replied, "Let's talk. It isn't as complicated as Falcon Heavy" -- that's Musk's reusable rocket -- "but too much is at stake to not at least have a conversation."

Do you think he's serious or do you think he's trolling the U.N. on climate?

JARRETT: It feels like a troll but he's going to have to put his money where his mouth is if given the proof.

ROMANS: He can afford it. He can afford it. We'll see if the U.N. can convince him that his money could make a difference.

We'll be right back.



ROMANS: All right, the world's worst polluter is not living up to its climate commitments. That criticism from President Biden and other European leaders as they kick off a global climate conference in Glasgow.

Let's go live to Beijing and bring in CNN's Steven Jiang. Hi, there.


You know, the fact that Xi Jinping is not even going to COP26 is probably not surprising given he hasn't left this country since the beginning of the pandemic. But what's more disappointing to a lot of people around the world is his government's recently published roadmap to achieve his very ambitious climate pledges made just a few years ago, including peaking this country's carbon emissions before the year 2030 and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Now, this new roadmap didn't really say anything new or specific other than saying that they aim to have 25 percent of its energy mix coming from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 and then increase this number to 80 percent by 2060. But when you look at current pictures on the ground, including where I come from -- this very smoggy Beijing today -- it's one reminder 60 percent of its energy consumption is still from coal.

And much of the country's post-COVID economic recovery is powered then by the construction of more -- dozens of more new coal power fire plants -- and coal-fired power plants and other projects very much reliant on coal. Not to mention, Christine, we've been talking about this power crunch, and that's why they have also recently ordered coal mines around the country to produce as much coal as possible. So, very much trying to strike a balance between ensuring energy security and cutting carbon emissions. But all of this, of course, is why there are growing questions and skepticism about whether or not the world's biggest polluters, as I mentioned, can actually achieve its very lofty goals -- Christine.

ROMANS: Steven Jiang from Beijing. Thank you so much -- Laura.

JARRETT: All right. A single confirmed case of COVID shut down Shanghai Disney on Halloween as China steps up its efforts to stamp out the virus.

A surreal scene there. Fireworks overhead, hundreds of health officials in ghostly white as tens of thousands undergo virus testing before being allowed to leave the park. All this while police blocked the exits and secured the area.

It's the latest in the -- China's zero-COVID policy ahead of the Winter Olympics in February.

Back here in the U.S., Philadelphia is set to become the first major U.S. city to ban police from stopping cars for low-level traffic violations. The Driving Equality bill is designed to curb negative and possibly dangerous interactions between drivers and police. It divides traffic offenses now into primary violations that will continue to draw police stops and secondary violations that won't.

Philadelphia's mayor is expected to sign the landmark legislation as soon as this week.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN Business this Monday morning -- first day of a new month.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares closed mixed here. A big bounce there in Tokyo. Europe has opened higher as well. On Wall Street, to start a new trading month, stock index futures also leaning a little bit higher here.

Look, stocks closed at record highs Friday, finishing out October with strong gains. That's a rebound from September's slump. And this is because of solid corporate earnings. Companies are managing well through this environment.

The Dow rose nearly six percent last month, the best since March. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both gained around seven percent, their best months in nearly a year.

There is a lot on the calendar this week, though, for investors, including a lot more corporate earnings and a Federal Reserve policy meeting midweek, and then the October jobs report comes Friday.

Breaking this morning, Barclays American CEO Jes Staley has quit after an investigation into his relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. British regulators focusing on Staley's professional ties to Epstein.

Staley had been running Barclays since late-2015. The dealings with Epstein were when Staley ran JPMorgan private banking. Staley stepped down from this CEO role and his board seat. He plans to contest the findings.


Barclays said Monday the investigation, quote, "...makes no findings that Mr. Staley saw or was aware of any of Mr. Epstein's alleged crimes."

In 2019, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking of underage girls. He killed himself in jail while awaiting trial.

October turned out to be the best month of 2021, so far, for the box office -- more than $600 million. That's thanks to a combination of new releases mostly -- many exclusively in theaters, coupled with growing confidence for people returning to theaters.

Hollywood could get more good news in the new two months. Some potential blockbusters set for release, including Marvel's "Eternals" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

JARRETT: The Astros rallied to beat the Braves in Atlanta, sending the World Series back to Houston for game six.

Coy Wire has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Coy.


I was there at the stadium and we're seeing a woman from Tennessee driving with her three teenage boys just to be there. They didn't have tickets to the game. Braves fans ready to celebrate that first team's World Series Championship since 1995.

They were a perfect 7-0 at home in the postseason and they came out firing on all cylinders last night. Outfielder Adam Duvall coming to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. He clears those bases with a grand slam on the very first pitch.

But the Astros, they keep chipping away. An error by shortstop Dansby Swanson helped Houston tie it up in the third. The Astros would take the lead in the fifth. Team pitch hitter Marwin Gonzalez, in only his third at-bat in the postseason, comes through with a two-out, two-run single, making it 7-5. Those Astros would go on to win it 9-5.

And now, the series is headed back to Houston.


CARLOS CORREA, SHORTSTOP, HOUSTON ASTROS: We were down 3-1. Now we're still down 3-2. But I truly believe that if there is one team that can accomplish that in this league, it's us. So, we're staying confident. We're just going to go out there and battle every single inning and try to win every single pitch.


WIRE: Game six is tomorrow night. And the last team to come back and win the World Series after trailing 3-1, the Cubs in 2016.

Let's go to the NFL where Saints quarterback Jameis Winston facing his former team and division rival Buccaneers. Winston leaving with what's being called a significant knee injury in the second quarter. We hope he is OK.

Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes but he says an interception cost his team the game. Down two with under two minutes to go, throwing the ball into the arms of New Orleans corner P.J. Williams who breaks a couple of tackles on his way to the endzone. The pick-six seals the win for New Orleans. The defense rallying, and third-string quarterback Trevor Siemian coming off the bench there to rally as well in that bittersweet 36-27 win for New Orleans.

Now, is there quarterback controversy brewing for the now 2-5 New York Jets? Quarterback Mike White starting in the place of injured rookie Zach Wilson, making a huge impression in his first career start against the first-place Bengals.

White throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns, joining Cam Newton as the only players since 1950 to throw for 400 or more yards in their first career start. He also caught a two-point conversion pass to go ahead and score

Just moments after the shocking 34-31 upset, Jets head coach Robert Saleh named White the starter for Thursday night's game against the Colts.

The backup Q.B. theme extending into "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL." Cooper Rush making his first career start for the injured Dak Prescott and the fifth-year backup made the most of his opportunity for the Cowboys. He threw for 325 yards -- 122 of them to Amari Cooper. He made an incredible juggling catch to get into Viking territory with under three minutes left. And Coopers connect again there. A great catch by Amari in the back of the endzone.

Cowboys win it 20-16. They've now won six in a row.

And finally, Falcons' star receiver Calvin Ridley announcing on social media he's stepping away from the game of football to focus on mental health. He missed his second game of the season yesterday and the first in which the team called personal reasons.

Ridley tweeted, quote, "These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I'd like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing. This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future."

And Lane Johnson, a star lineman for the Eagles, doing the same thing earlier this season. He has since returned to play. But since Simone Biles and those Tokyo Olympics, and even some before her, we're seeing it be more OK --


WIRE: -- for athletes of all sports to come out and take this time for themselves.

JARRETT: And talk more openly about it, which is a good thing.

ROMANS: I think it's brave and it's amazing. It's a whole new -- whole new world for how we accept and deal --


ROMANS: -- with mental health issues. All right, great that sports is leading the way on that. Thanks.

JARRETT: Thanks, Coy.

ROMANS: All right, a historic climate summit about to get underway in Glasgow. You're looking at live pictures right now. And new details overnight on the plan of action from the White House.


JARRETT: And the Biden agenda, a big step closer to a vote. What CNN has learned progressives say behind closed door that -- behind closed doors. That and more ahead on "NEW DAY."

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" picks it up now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and truly --