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First Move with Julia Chatterley
The E.U. Fines BMW and Volkswagen for Underutilizing Emissions Control Technology; China's Scrutiny of Overseas Listings Reportedly Claims Another Victim; The Tokyo Olympics will Take Place under a State of Emergency. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired July 08, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE, and here is your need-to-know.
Collusion crackdown. The E.U. fines BMW and Volkswagen for underutilizing emissions control technology.
Clampdown contagion. China's scrutiny of overseas listings reportedly claims another victim.
And Tokyo tribulations. The Olympics will take place under a state of emergency. It's Thursday, my teeth are back in, let's make a move.
The joys of live TV, a warm welcome to all our First Movers this Thursday as we count down to today's Wall Street opening bell, and also this
weekend's Euro football final between Italy and yes, England.
Call it perhaps the fettuccine versus fish and chips finale. Good job, England. Condolences, of course, to Denmark, too, a strong performance, and
with a great deal of luck, we will go on to win in your honor.
Now, for putting to the FTSE -- sorted it there -- and other global stocks, investors dropping the ball today, perhaps a little, markets are weaker.
The U.S. set to fall, well, as you can see over one percent. It is consolidation, I think, to some degree, with stocks at record highs, but
also some consternation feeding in here, too, about the message being sent by the bond market and investors there.
There's lots of defensive bond buying going on, just take a look at the U.S. 10-year note. Now, that's a gauge of interest rates in 10 years' time,
just to give you a sense of what we're seeing. And that has, as you can see fallen well below 1.3 percent. That's a five-month low, and what it is
suggesting is caution about the growth outlook. The risk perhaps that the Federal Reserve pulls support too fast amid a spreading delta variant
Those challenges of course, too, crystallized over in Japan. The government extending a COVID state of emergency in Tokyo through the end of the
Olympic Games. We will take you there to explain what that's going to mean for people and for the games in practice.
On the brighter side, meanwhile, the Chinese government saying look, it is prepared to provide more support to the economy. Also an admission that
growth there is slowing as exporters struggle in particular with soaring commodity prices.
The bottom line, the inflationary risks here are real, taper talk is growing. The support, meanwhile, is going nowhere until we're ready, but it
won't stop the worry and that's what we're seeing.
Let's get to the drivers, and we begin with what the E.U. calls a carmaker cartel. It hit BMW and Volkswagen with a billion dollar fine for breaking
antitrust rules. The Commission says those companies and coconspirator, Daimler, agreed not to compete on technology to reduce diesel emissions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGRETHE VESTAGER, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR COMPETITION: For over five years, the car manufacturers deliberately avoided to compete on cleaning
better than what was required by E.U. emission standards, and they did so despite the relevant technology being available.
The law fixes minimum cleaning standards, which all producers will have to respect, but that still leaves ample room for manufacturers to compete on
doing better than the minimum required.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Clare Sebastian joins us on this story. So, the bottom line is they had the technology to do more in terms of emissions control, but they
didn't have to because E.U. rules said they didn't have to and therefore they didn't, and they discussed it. And now, the E.U. is tackling them. Put
that in English for us, Clare.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is -- the car makers have pointed out, pretty uncharted territory when it comes to
antitrust and competition law, but this relates to a statement of objections that was issued to the carmakers back in 2019 related to talks
that they allegedly held between 2006 and 2014, so-called sort of group of five that includes Volkswagen with their subsidiaries, Audi and Porsche,
Daimler and BMW -- technical talks.
And during these talks, according to the E.U. Competition Commission, they allegedly discussed several systems that were used to improve the
cleanliness of exhaust in diesel and petrol cars and they agreed according to the to the E.U. not to compete when it comes to those technologies in a
way that would have led to their improvement.
That is what they're alleging. Margrethe Vestager says, "In today's world, polluting less is an important characteristics of any car and this cartel
aimed at restricting competition on this key competition parameter."
SEBASTIAN: The car makers though, Julia, BMW and Volkswagen out today with statements, they are not happy about this at all. Volkswagen saying it will
CHATTERLEY: Yes, what else are they saying, Clare? Because you used the phrase "technical cooperation" there. There's a fine line between technical
cooperation and in some way colluding between you to decide not to utilize technology that you've developed and actually could do more to help the
environment. What else are they saying here?
SEBASTIAN: Yes, I should correct, Volkswagen saying, it will consider an appeal. But what they are saying is that first of all, that both of them
are saying that this is unchartered legal territory, Julia.
This is a part of the statement from Volkswagen. They are saying, "The commission is breaking new legal ground with this decision, because it is
the first time it has prosecuted technical cooperation as an antitrust violation. It is also imposing fines even though the contents of the talks
were never implemented, and customers were therefore never harmed."
A similar point was made by BMW. They are also saying that when it comes to the results of these talks, that any kind of collusion that might have
happened never actually resulted in sort of related changes to the car, that the systems they installed was still better than what was discussed in
those talks, and therefore, there was no consumer harm.
Essentially saying that the sort of cartel didn't really work, so it's an interesting defense in that regard. But both of them agreeing, and it's a
very sensitive issue, Julia, of course, because of the emissions scandal in 2015 that Volkswagen still continues to grapple with the fallout, the years
in question overlap with the year that the Commission is talking about in this.
And BMW, interestingly, explicitly distancing itself from that in its statement saying, there is just no evidence that it ever used any defeat
devices to reduce emissions. It says that even though some of its competitors did that, it has never been shown to have done that.
So, it's an extremely sensitive issue for the carmakers and also for the E.U. as it tries to reduce its emissions from its carmakers.
CHATTERLEY: And this is such a great point, I just wonder whether for the car makers, but also for the E.U., this does feel very legacy. To your
point, it refers to 2006 to the 2014 period. And we seem to be seeing all these car makers falling over themselves to announce, look, we're going
electric by this date, we're going to be fully electric by that date.
I just wonder whether it refers to a legacy period, but it well and truly suggests that the E.U. is honing in on cleaner technologies. And we're
going to talk about that later on in the show, too.
Clare, great to have you with us for the context there. Clare Sebastian, as I mentioned, just one part, tackling car emissions of the E.U.'s ambitious
Green Deal to fight global climate change, and we're going to be joined by the European Commission, Vice President Frans Timmermans in just a few
moments to discuss this, and much more.
All right, let's move on. China's crackdown on tech is clearly far from over. The Central Bank is promising more regulation for payments companies,
add to that report that one Chinese firm is shelving its IPO in the United States.
Paul La Monica joins us on this. It's just rumors at this stage, Paul, great to have you with us. But it's a company that's been rumored called
LinkDoc, and they are a Chinese medical data group. I mean, you only have to mention what they do to realize that they are well and truly in the
crossfire whether they're choosing to delay or not. Wowsers.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, there are multiple reports out there this morning suggesting that LinkDoc will be delaying its U.S. IPO
and we are waiting for confirmation. But it isn't a huge surprise, I thin, Julia that this would be happening given all the drama about what has
happened with DiDi's stock since DiDi listed just a week ago. It seems like eons ago now, given how rapidly the move -- the news has been progressing
with this company right now.
I think that there are going to be legitimate concerns about whether China will really want companies in Mainland China to be listing on the U.S. when
they have, you know, potentially a much closer option to home with Hong Kong.
CHATTERLEY: Perfectly teased, because we were having this debate on the show yesterday that it suddenly puts Hong Kong in the spotlight and the
importance of Hong Kong as a conduit for financial flows between China and the West, in particular, the United States -- step forward the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange, Paul, making it easier to IPO.
LA MONICA: Exactly, and I think that's what a lot of Chinese tech companies really wanted to see. You've had this somewhat arcane process
where, you know, a company would price its shares and then it would take up to five days to a week before the stock would actually start trading, Hong
Kong taking steps to shorten that window, so, the time between pricing and listing happens a lot more quickly.
And I think you're starting to see Chinese companies that have already started to trade here in the U.S. are going to be looking at a dual listing
in Hong Kong. We've already had that with XPeng yesterday, a big Chinese electric vehicle company that has a U.S. listed stock. Now, they're listing
in Hong Kong as well. It wouldn't be surprised at all, Julia, if you see more Chinese headquartered firms that are already listing either on the New
York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ look to dual list on Hong Kong as well, and companies that haven't listed at all yet might just choose Hong Kong over
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's important, therefore, to preserve some degree of financial flow independence in Hong Kong, if nothing else, if that indeed
is the case. Interesting undercurrents here going on.
Paul La Monica, thank you very much for that.
No fans in the stands. In just the last few moments, we learned the Tokyo Games will not have even domestic spectators because of the COVID crisis.
The Prime Minister declared the fourth state of emergency in Tokyo through the end of the Summer Games.
Selina Wang is live in Tokyo with that breaking news for us. Now confirmed, Selina, better safe rather than sorry, I think that's the message here.
Talk us through it.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Julia, and remember for months now, you even have Japan's top COVID-19 adviser who recommended these Games to
be held without any spectators. Now, we are getting confirmation that at least of these Tokyo venues, all spectators will be barred. Overseas fans
have already been banned. We've known this information for quite some time now, but now even local fans will be barred.
There are press conferences coming up in the coming hours when we'll get more details about whether or not some VIP, special guests will be allowed
at some of the big top events like the opening and closing ceremonies.
But Julia, we've talked about this before about just how big of a blow this is for Japan. They have spent more than $15 billion on these Games. They
are not going to get any of that economic boost they were expecting, not even from their local tourists.
But right now, there is still a lot of anxiety running high here in Japan. I was just at a protest that was here in Shinjuku, it just wrapped up a few
hours ago. They were protesting the Olympics, they were protesting the arrival of the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, who they say represents
corporate greed and what they see as the IOC plowing ahead with these Games for their own profit.
The people are angry that these Games are still going to go ahead, even amid a state of emergency -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, I've got many questions on the back of that. I mean, wonder what this means for the opening ceremony, too, the big showcase that
these nations that host the Olympic Games enjoy so much as a way to flag bear, I think for the nations. Do we know anything about the opening
And also, Selina, just tie this to the data that we're seeing? I mean, we've been saying, you and I, and you said it there, it sort of makes sense
based on the data that we're seeing to go the safe route here. Talk us through just the latest data.
WANG: Well, Julia, the five-party meeting talks, we should be finding out soon more details about the opening and closing ceremonies. It is possible
that some special Olympic delegations, VIP guests will be allowed at that opening ceremony, but we'll just have to wait and see. A huge
disappointment for Japan. They spent more than a billion dollars renovating that National Stadium. That is where the opening and closing ceremonies are
going to be held.
And when it comes to the COVID situation here in Japan, as you say, medical experts say it just wouldn't make sense. COVID cases are surging again here
in Tokyo, reaching more than 900 cases on Wednesday. That's the highest level in months.
Medical experts continue to warn against holding the Games at all. And when it comes to the vaccination situation here in Japan, the rate was starting
to pick up, but a lot of the prefectures here are still facing logistical challenges.
At this moment, just 15 percent of the population here has been fully vaccinated. Another big concern is the delta variant as well, even the
Prime Minister announcing that more of these cases here in Tokyo are being driven by the delta variant, a key concern for these Games moving forward -
CHATTERLEY: Yes, cases too high, vaccinations too low. Selina Wang with the breaking news there. No spectators at the Olympic Games. Thank you very
much for that.
All right, still to come here on FIRST MOVE, a not so dirty 2030. The E.U. says its carbon emissions will be 55 percent lower by the next decade. The
E.U.'s green policy chief tells us how it's going to be achieved.
And Volvo plans to help with that, the carmaker races to meet its goal of an all-electric Ranger by that same year. We've got the CEO also on the
Stay with us, more to come.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE with a look at the stories making headlines around the world.
We begin with new developments in the shocking assassination of the President of Haiti. The country's Ambassador to the U.S. says police have
killed four suspects and arrested two others. We have audio purportedly from around the time of the killings. CNN cannot independently confirm the
authenticity of the audio or video, but the American sounding accent is from someone claiming to be from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CHATTERLEY: Let's bring in CNN's Matt Rivers. He is monitoring the situation for us from Miami.
Matt, great to have you with us. I believe the latest is the number of suspects that have been killed, two arrested and the belief is that some
are still at large. What more can you tell us? And is that information correct?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that information is the latest that we have as of right now, Julia. I mean, this assassination and
who is behind it remains just a huge mystery in terms of exactly what is behind all this. The least of which is because of that video that you just
played or the audio rather where you can clearly here an American accent, somebody claiming that this is a D.E.A. operation.
Now, the Haitian government and the United States government both say that it wasn't actually D.E.A. agents involved in all of this, rather, the
Haitian government says these were highly trained mercenaries in their words posing as D.E.A. agents, perhaps as a way to get access in some way
to the presidential residence, which is normally a very heavily guarded compound.
But it wasn't just the President that was injured, and obviously the President was assassinated here. His wife, the First Lady of Haiti is in
this hospital behind me here in Miami. She was medevac'd with very serious injuries from Haiti here to Miami to receive treatment. She is in a
critical, but stable condition that we're told.
Now, in terms of the investigation as this is ongoing. Four suspects, as you mentioned, have been killed and two have been detained. That's six in
total, but Haiti's Ambassador to the United States told CNN earlier today that they believe that there are more suspects out there.
They also believe that all six people that are involved in this, they are foreign nationals. The four detained -- or the two detained and the four
killed, they are all foreign nationals. They are not saying what nationality those people are, but that adds just a different level of
mystery to all of this and we're so far away from getting answers.
Why was the President assassinated? Who was behind it? Who financed? And how were these people able to enter presidential residence, which normally
is very heavily guarded? There's even -- I mean, there's just so many questions that we don't have answers to yet, Julia. We are, of course going
to be monitoring this situation and trying to bring our viewers those answers.
But for now, this is just a real mystery after this brutal assassination.
CHATTERLEY: Plenty of questions. Matt Rivers, thank you for the update on that there.
Okay, let's move on. Former South African President Jacob Zuma has handed himself over to police to serve a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of
court. Authorities say the order from the Constitutional Court stems from Zuma's refusal to answer question about his alleged involvement in
corruption during his time as President.
Okay, let's bring it back to the markets now. And risky business means it's a risk off day for global stock markets and beyond. We're looking at a drop
of well over one percent for the U.S. majors, losses of more than two percent. I can see that in Europe. Reflation stocks like banks and oil
firms that do well when economies expand are among today's big losers on new fears that global growth is slowing even as pricing pressures build.
That's called secular stagnation, and it's a nasty combination as you can see for investors.
U.S. bond yields, which of course was soaring earlier this year on the strong economic vaccination vroom and rebound, continue to give back much
of their 2021 gains, a reflection of ongoing economic uncertainties.
In the meantime, China admitting today that its Central Bank may have to do more to help support its slowing economy. And we remain in China where the
messaging app, WeChat, has deleted more than a dozen LGBTQ accounts. The move has sparked fears of a crackdown on China's gay and transgender
David Culver joins us now. David, great to have you with us and good that you're looking at this story in particular. I had to sort of look at what
the standards are with regards China's treatment of homosexuality in China, and I believe that it was decriminalized in in 1997. Why this and why now?
What have you found?
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right, and in 2001, Julia, it was taken off the official list of mental disorders. That being said, while
publicly, China has displayed a very accepting stance, and even shown to the United Nations that they are against any discrimination based on sexual
orientation or gender identity. At home, it's been a different story.
And to your point, it was shocking for a lot of these groups, mostly at universities as they awoke Wednesday morning to find that their pages had
been shuttered. And it comes as China has faced now multiple allegations of human rights abuses, and this really puts mounting pressure on this country
ahead of what is going to be a huge event, the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
CULVER (voice over): A sweeping crackdown on China's popular social media and messaging app, WeChat. The target -- LGBTQ and feminist college groups.
Dozens of organizations say their public pages were banned Tuesday, now labeled as untitled accounts. An outcry online from some of those impacted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Am I living in 2021." "I'm LGBT. I just want to know whom have I bothered for just living my life?"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "I'm shaking? Why did they do this?"
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Nobody is free until everybody is free."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'll be lying if I said I wasn't sad.
CULVER (voice over): CNN connected with one LGBTQ group member from a Beijing University whose organization's WeChat page got banned. All its
past content erased.
CATHY (through translator): In recent years, our goal is to simply survive, to continue to be able to serve LGBT students and provide them
with warmth. We basically don't engage in any radical advocating anymore.
CULVER (voice over): She asked we call her "Cathy" and not use her real name, fearful of facing retaliation for adding her voice to this story.
Online, a nationalistic narrative and backlash already surfacing. Some baselessly claiming that the group's pages got shut down because they were
infiltrated by foreign forces.
CATHY (through translator): The LGBT community has long existed in China, not because of any influence from so-called foreign forces. It's completely
Those saying that do not understand the LGBT community at all. They have no intention to know about it.
CULVER (voice over): Publicly, China has portrayed a tolerant image of LGBTQ rights, expressing to the United Nations an opposition to
discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But at home, a different story
DARIUS LONGARINO, SENIOR FELLOW, PAUL TSAI CHINA CENTER, YALE LAW SCHOOL: What we have instead is an increasing tightening of the space for the LGBT
community and LGBT advocates.
CULVER (voice over): CNN has reported on China's crackdown on LGBTQ rights in recent years, from censoring gay content seen as abnormal sexual
relationships and behaviors on streaming platforms and TV shows to bringing an abrupt end last year to the longest running annual celebration of sexual
minorities, Shanghai Pride, and now a closing of this social safe space in China's cyberspace.
LONGARINO: It is sad to see them deplatformed in that way, because they often can be a real lifeline to other LGBT students.
CULVER (voice over): WeChat sent this message to those pages shut down. "After receiving relevant complaints, all content has been blocked and the
account has been put out of service." But those impacted wanted more clarity on the exact violation.
CNN reached out to Tencent, WeChat's parent company. We've not yet heard back.
Cathy is still hopeful her organization's work can find a new way to reach young people.
CATHY (through translator): I think the future LGBT movement in colleges is very important. Many people may suffer depression because of their
gender identity confusion. So, I always think to educate multi-gender identities in college is important.
CULVER (on camera): While same sex marriage is not legal here in China, we should point out there are no laws against homosexuality. And we should
also point out, Julia, that a lot of the activists and experts we've spoken with say that this is concerning because it feels like this is a trend
based on several data points, incidences, if you will, that have pointed towards the negative when it comes to opening up and being more accepting.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, to that person that said, "Am I living in 2021?" You are, but it just matters it seems where you live. David Culver, thank you so
much for that report there.
CHATTERLEY: Okay, to Indonesia now where the nation is expanding coronavirus restrictions after reporting record number of cases and deaths
over the past week. Many hospitals are now so overwhelmed, patients are being asked to provide their own oxygen tanks. CNN's Paula Hancocks
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is a grim view, a rush to dig fresh graves in West Java, Indonesia, trying to
keep up with a record number of COVID-19 deaths. As one body is laid to rest, no funeral or grieving relatives allowed, another waits in the back
of an ambulance.
In Jakarta, ambulances queue in an ever growing graveyard as cranes dig final resting places faster than human hands.
One disconcerting reality here, many of the victims are children. Save the Children estimates one in eight confirmed cases are below the age of 18,
and more than 600 are believed to have died.
DINO SATRIA, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Its hidden victims here of this crisis, they have been out of school for over a year, the families are losing their
incomes. But now they are not hidden anymore, because now a lot of deaths is affecting them, and many more are being infected.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Chang Malin (ph) thought she was safe, she was among the first in Indonesia to be fully vaccinated. She suffers from
diabetes, but on June 23rd, she started coughing and spiked a fever.
Within four days, she was unconscious. Her children called an ambulance, but the line was constantly busy. They hired a private van to take her to
eight hospitals, but they all refused her.
HERWINDA, DAUGHTER OF COVID-19 PATIENT: I had called around 52 hospitals in Jakarta and also another region like Tangerang, and also Bogor, but they
say that, they are full. They don't have oxygen also.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Finally, her daughter found a private hospital who accepted her as long as she provided her own oxygen. Turning to social
media, she eventually found a donor and carried a 15 kilogram canister to the hospital herself.
Her mother is not yet stable, but at least, she is in hospital.
HERWINDA: It's very full. All of their tents is full and even in my mom's hospital, there are patients on the road because they don't have a room.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Trucks line up to get more oxygen for hospitals and clinics. Worried relatives bring individual canisters in the hope of giving
loved one's a lifeline. One man says, "I joined the queue six hours ago to help a relative who is ill."
This man says, "I've been queuing for five hours. I need to refill two tanks for my mother who is ill at home."
JODY MAHARDI, SPOKESPERSON, COORDINATING MINISTRY IN CHARGE OF COVID-19 (through translator): We are targeting 100 percent of production of oxygen
in Indonesia to be utilized for medical usage. It means all oxygen for industrial usage will be switched over for medical usage.
HANCOCKS (voice over): The government says they are preparing more than 7,000 extra hospital beds to try and ease the strain.
DR. FITRA, DERMATOVENEREOLOGIST, KARAWANG HOSPITAL (through translator): It's not that we don't want to serve the patients to the best of our
ability, but our health workers are exhausted and are falling sick.
HANCOCKS (voice over): More than 1,100 medical staff have died so far in this pandemic. This was one hospital last week, patients waiting in
corridors for medical attention. The hospital claims things are improving, but the daily number of cases continues to break records and families
struggle to find a hospital that will take their loved ones.
As her window waits for good news from her mother, her father and brother have now also tested positive.
Paula Hancocks, CNN.
CHATTERLEY: And our hearts with all those people impacted there and of course around the world. Stay with us. More to come. You're watching FIRST
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Let's bring you up to speed with the action on Wall Street. As expected, a weaker start to the trading day
this Thursday. A nasty July scroll after a blistering summer rally. Normal perhaps with markets hitting persistent record highs. Consolidation is the
word we always use, but also a reflection, I think of investor concern that global growth could soften from here.
New data today shows U.S. jobless claims rising a little bit last week, still, of course near pandemic lows, but it is coming as a fresh U.S.
fiscal cliff is looming this September with enhanced jobless benefits set to expire for those states that haven't already ended them. An inopportune
time as rising gasoline prices eat into consumer spending power, too.
Central Banks all watching this very closely, do not expect them, I think to make any sudden moves that would jolt investors
Add to that, the European Central Bank today taking a page from Patient Powell's playbook, vowing to overshoot its inflation targets if necessary
to better attain economic stability, and fresh signs it will remain accommodative for as long as required.
In the meantime, one of our top stories today, the E.U. Commission fining two German auto giants $1 billion for limiting the development and rollout
of car emission control systems in a first of a kind ruling.
The E.U. well and truly setting the tone ahead of announcing its big E.U. Green Deal next week, its most ambitious attempt yet to tackle climate
change. It comes as the E.U.'s climate envoy tours Asian nations like South Korea and Singapore to coordinate support and prepare ahead of COP 26. The
U.N.'s Climate Change Conference coming in November.
And joining us now is European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and he joins us from that tour, currently, in Singapore. Sir, fantastic to
have you on the show. You're certainly, I think touring nations that are equally committed to tackling climate change, despite the broader
challenges that we face with the COVID crisis. What's your takeaway as we count down to COP 26? What does success look like in your mind?
FRANS TIMMERMANS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE PRESIDENT: Well, what we have to achieve is that we achieve the climate targets we've set in Paris. So,
well below two degrees, keep our eye on 1.5 degrees, because if we don't, the climate crisis will get out of control. And I'm really, really
encouraged by what I've heard the last couple of days both here in Singapore and in South Korea, two nations prepared to do what is needed to
reach climate neutrality. So together, I think we can really make a difference.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, there will be people watching this saying, look, if you're touring Asian nations, if you're not speaking to India, if you're
not speaking to China, then you're effectively leading the charge towards a cleaner climate with at least one if not two hands tied behind your back.
Sir, what's your response to that?
TIMMERMANS: Well, we are talking and we just spoke to the Indian minister last week, we are talking to China, I spoke to the Chinese envoy, Mr. Xie,
also last week. The only problem is traveling to those countries is extremely difficult at this stage because of the pandemic. But we're in
constant touch with our partners. And you're absolutely right, if we really want to get where we need to be, we need China and India on board.
CHATTERLEY: And you think they're committed -- equally committed to nations like, well, some of the European nations and the Commission itself?
TIMMERMANS: Well, I think the fact that President Xi Jinping has announced China would reach carbon neutrality by 2060 is encouraging. Now, we have to
see what that means in concrete measures between now and 2060. Like the E.U., we've said clearly where we want to be in 2030.
We hope our partners can make comparable commitments. Before the meeting in Glasgow, they will have to show what their national determined
contributions are to our common effort. And I think working together with them, like we did in Paris, can actually help us reach our goals.
And it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be easy for anyone. The European Union will see this next week when we present our proposals for
our so-called 55 Plans, it's hard on everyone. But if we do it in a way that everybody pulls -- you know, pulls on the same side of the rope, I
think we can get there.
We can get there, and at the end of this transformation, our economy will look a lot better. And we can get the climate crisis under control and
that's the whole point.
CHATTERLEY: And for those that may not know, 55, or Fit for 55, it sounds like a fitness plan. It's not. A 55 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.
There are rumors though, that some within the Commission would like that to be 60 percent reduction in emissions, and actually, that the E.U. could be
targeting net zero or zero emissions by 2035. So, even a 15-year sort of acceleration on what we're talking about now, does that make any sense? Or
is that too ambitious at this stage?
TIMMERMANS: No, it doesn't. It doesn't. You will see next week when we present our plans how hard it is to get to a reduction of at least 55
percent by 2030. So many measures have to be increased on car emissions, on the emissions trading system, on our transition to sustainable fuels, et
cetera. It's going to be really hard to do that between now and 2030.
Increasing that ambition would push us over the edge. We couldn't do that, possibly, and by the way, doing this, and if the international community
moves in the same direction, it does help us stay within the targets we set in Paris.
CHATTERLEY: You know, it's interesting, I was looking at some of the reviews of the sort of reports on what we're expecting next week and one of
the points that was made was that transport represents around a quarter of greenhouse gases in the E.U., and I know, cars in particular, and trying to
lower the cost of electric cars, increase accessibility to electric cars is one of the huge focuses.
What can you talk to me about that, particularly in light of what we saw today and the fine for two big European car makers over emission controls?
Is that legacy? And have they sort of got with the mindset now that cleaner is better and we have to do it faster.
TIMMERMANS: You know, I am really amazed by the turnaround of the car industry worldwide. They know they need to go zero emission cars. They know
they need to go to battery electric cars to hydrogen fuel cell cars, and they're moving quickly in that direction.
So, we don't need to convince them of this anymore. It's the pace they worry about. They think we might be pushing them a bit too hard. But I
mean, if I compare this with let's say two years ago, they really, really understood that there is no future for an internal combustion engine
because electric cars are cheaper to run already, and within five, six, seven years, they will be cheaper to buy as well.
So, that's the future, and the car industry is now fully embracing that future.
CHATTERLEY: You know, it's fascinating. I saw some stats that said that electric vehicles made up around 11 percent of new E.U. car registrations
in 2020. That statistic actually blew my mind, so the movement from consumers is clearly there.
But I wonder about poorer nations whether we're talking about cars or anything else, it is expensive. The transition costs are huge here. How do
you do this equitably? And we can stick with cars just as an example, because I believe that France, the Netherlands, and Germany holds 70
percent of all car charging points.
Even just that statistic shows you the challenges for some of the less wealthy nations in the E.U. in transitioning to electric cars. What more
can the E.U. itself do to help facilitate to subsidize perhaps?
TIMMERMANS: Well, first of all, we've discussed with all member states in their recovery plans to include charging capacity across the European
Union. So, this is also what the car industry is asking of us. Give us a charging capacity, then we can sell electric vehicles.
So, we will roll out a lot of the charging capacity across the European Union, then we have to make sure that we remove first the dirtiest car from
the European markets, because even if -- let's suppose that somewhere around 2035, only electric vehicles will be built in Europe, you still have
a huge legacy of existing internal combustion engine cars, and you need to make them as clean as possible.
So you need to remove dirty cars, the fastest as possible from the market. That will reduce the price of secondhand cars moving towards hybrid cars,
and eventually, electric cars will become available for everyone.
But it is quite a huge challenge to all of us, because many people, especially in the poorer member states, but also across society in the rest
of Europe who never pay much more than let's say, 3,000 euros to 4,000 euros for a car, and to tell them that they would have to buy a new car.
It's just too much.
So, we have to give them an opportunity to transit towards a cleaner car first. And eventually everyone will be allowed or not allowed, but will be
able, I have to say, to buy an electric vehicle.
CHATTERLEY: I think you're going to receive a little bit of pushback, but I can't wait to see the report next week. And I'll tell you what, if energy
TIMMERMANS: Oh, we'll get massive pushback.
CHATTERLEY: ... and enthusiasm --
TIMMERMANS: We'll get massive pushback.
CHATTERLEY: Sorry, say, it?
TIMMERMANS: No, we'll get massive pushback. I mean, any fundamental transition will give us a lot of pushback.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it doesn't change the requirement and the need though, and I was going to say if enthusiasm is going to get us to the finish line,
sir, you have it. Great to chat to us. And please come back and talk to us soon. Fantastic to talk to you.
Frans Timmerman, sir, Vice President of the European Commission, and safe journey home, sir. Thank you.
TIMMERMANS: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: All right, after the break, sticking with the green theme and some electrifying news from Volvo, the CEO of the car company is here
talking about his plans to leave fossil fuels in the dust. Stay with his
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE, and take a look at Volvo's vision of the future. The Swedish automaker wants an all-electric range by 2030,
but this concept car pointing the way.
I'm not sure if those fancy doors will make it into production though. The CEO says the post-pandemic world should be a green one, and that's why
Volvo has committed itself to the E.U.'s Green Alliance for a climate neutral economy.
Hakan Samuelsson is the CEO of Volvo Car Group, and he joins us now. Sir, fantastic to have you on the show. We'll talk about the commitment and of
course, your commitment to electric vehicles by 2030. But let's talk about the car. What do we need to understand about this as a banner, I think for
your electric vehicle ambitions?
HAKAN SAMUELSSON, CEO, VOLVO CAR GROUP: I think it gives you an idea of how the future of Volvo will look like, a bit more streamlined, fully
electric, of course, and full of new functionality, more software and more electronics. Safer also, because we'll have LIDAR technology, but still a
very practical car with a lot of room for families.
CHATTERLEY: But we don't get the doors. They're quite futuristic.
SAMUELSSON: On concept cars, they are always like that. So, maybe, the reality, back to a more conventional, I have to reveal that.
CHATTERLEY: Safety wise.
SAMUELSSON: But otherwise, I think it looks like the future of Volvo.
CHATTERLEY: How soon in the future might a car like this be on the road? And what kind of price? Because it is, as you said, pointing to the future
where you've said, look, we're going to be fully electric by 2030, and that's ambitious.
SAMUELSSON: Yes, I think a car like that -- this will not be your first Volvo, the very first in our new generation all electric will be in the
2022. This one, 2024-2025 something like that will come out.
CHATTERLEY: One of the most exciting things about what you're working towards is the next generation of technology. And I know you're working
with a Swedish firm called, Northvolt to tackle next generation batteries as well, including, I think a thousand-kilometer range in terms of charging
and also reducing the amount of charging time upon which it goes from 10 percent to 80 percent charged.
Can you talk to me about this? Because I think for many people that still look at electric vehicles as being limited simply by charging technology,
and by how far they can go on a charge, this would be transformative, too.
SAMUELSSON: No, that's exactly what I think you need to improve. I mean, you need to be able to go as far as you can with a few -- with a normal car
with a fuel tank with around 50 to 60 liters. That's what typically I have. So, you come there close to a thousand kilometers, I think, then it would
be working like a normal car.
And then of course, you don't want to stand much longer at the charging point than you do fueling up because it has to be faster. So, here we go to
technology, shortening -- shortening time and then of course, having more energy in the batteries. And to be able to do that, for us, as a car maker,
we cannot just rely on buying a battery or some kind of commodity, we need to understand it much more, so we need to acquire core competency around
chemistry and battery technology exactly as we do today when it comes to the combustion engine.
And then we need a more deeper partnership with somebody who is ready to share and develop this with us, and that's what we have defined with
CHATTERLEY: You know, the beauty of Volvo is that you have customers all around the world. You also have a Chinese parent, but we were just talking
to the E.U.'s climate envoy about their Green Alliance and the Green Deal that they're going to announce next week and I made the point that 70
percent of charging stations are in France, Germany, and The Netherlands in the E.U.
CHATTERLEY: As you look ahead to what that announcement involves, particularly for the car makers and for yourselves, what do you need in
terms of support and engagement from nation states in order to foster and enable consumers to buy these electric vehicles?
SAMUELSSON: It has to be heavy investment in charging network in parallel here. So, it's sort of a hand and they -- I mean, without cars, there will
be no charging. But without charging posts, it will be impossible to sell cars. So, you will really have to team up and say, okay, let's make a
program to invest in charging, and we will concentrate on the cars.
So, I think it's very important with very clear signals here that we are going into an electric future, and that's why also we have stated by 2030,
we will be all electric and hopefully that encourages people to invest in in more charging because we need partners to do that for us.
CHATTERLEY: Good. So, at least I was asking him the right questions then that said, that's a conflict to me. I mentioned as well, your Chinese
parent, I also know that Volvo is working with DiDi as well on autonomous vehicle technology, which is something that they're very engaged in. I just
wondered if you had any views on the current challenges that we are seeing and the shifts that we're seeing in China with regards these kind of
companies. Does that give you any concern about your commitment with this partnership?
SAMUELSSON: Not really. The latest development really was also surprised for us, but the cooperation with DiDi is basically we will supply to them
basic cars, but the electronics and the autonomous driving functionality, they will put into a sort of electronic driver, which they will be
So, I don't think that cooperation is any way influenced by what's has happened with their company right now.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, so the hardware is immune, we hope.
SAMUELSSON: Yes. Hopefully.
CHATTERLEY: Sir, fantastic to chat with you. Thank you so much. Excited to test drive that vehicle when it comes on the road. Watch this space.
SAMUELSSON: Yes, looking forward to your feedback. Thanks for having me.
CHATTERLEY: Great. We'll reconvene. The CEO of Volvo Car Group there. Sir, thank you.
All right, after the break, got to taste the diamonds on a pot of Bitcoin. Well, Sotheby's, the auctioneer say, step right up, a crystal for crypto,
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back with the final FIRST MOVE look at the price action today. The U.S. majors pulling back sharply on global growth
concerns. Tech, the big loser after hitting fresh record highs on Wednesday. Consolidation, I'll say it again.
CHATTERLEY: Banks and energy stocks getting hit the hardest at this moment, and DiDi Global shares down an additional seven percent. Investors
increasingly underwater on that one. It is a nasty pullback today, but let's give you some perspective on that.
The S&P 500 still up more than 1.5 percent this past month alone. Technology stocks up more than four percent.
All right, to one of my favorite stories of the day, in Hong Kong, the auctioneer, Sotheby's will today sell a rare flawless diamond of at least
100 karats, in the price range of $10 million to $15 million, that is news in itself, but possibly the bigger news, they'll take payment in crypto if
you have it. Bitcoin or Ethereum are fine, as well as of course, old fashioned cash.
Wow, beautiful pear-shaped diamond there.
And finally on FIRST MOVE, pity the red London bus that became the center of attention for ecstatic England fans after their two-one victory against
Denmark in the Euro 2020 quarterfinals. Wow, there is a London telephone box there as well. Good luck making a call from that.
This is the first time England has reached a major final since 1966. England will now go on to face Italy in the final on Sunday, and best of
luck to both country, but as I've said before, more luck to England. We'll probably need it.
And that's it for the show. Sorry, I am saying, but it's true.
Stay safe. "Connect the World" is next, and I'll see you tomorrow.
Have a good day or evening wherever you are in the world.