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First Move with Julia Chatterley

China Brings in Tough New Measures on Cryptocurrency Trading and Mining; The U.S. brings India, Japan, and Australia Together to Counter China's rise; Supply Shortages from Chips to Petrol to Nike Shoes, the Global Economy Feels the Crunch. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired September 24, 2021 - 09:00   ET



ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Alison Kosik, in for Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE and here is your need-to-know.

Crypto crackdown. China brings in tough new measures on cryptocurrency trading and mining.

Quad conference. The U.S. brings India, Japan, and Australia together to counter China's rise.

Supply shortages. From chips to petrol to Nike shoes, the global economy feels the crunch.

It's Friday. Let's make a move.

Welcome to FIRST MOVE. Great to have you with us as we begin winding down a volatile week on the global markets. U.S. stocks look set to pull back

after two days of solid gains. A weaker session in Europe, too.

Still a lot of mystery surrounding the fate of Chinese property developer Evergrande and whether it has made a key $83 million interest payment.

Evergrande shares slid more than 11 percent in Hong Kong trading today as investors await answers. Evergrande uncertainty putting new pressure on

Chinese and Hong Kong shares.

China today continue to pump in billions worth of liquidity into its financial system to help banks get through this uncertain time.

China's Central Bank also rattling the crypto world today, it has announced a top to bottom ban on crypto related transactions, an intensification of

China's war on virtual currencies. Bitcoin now down eight percent on the news.

Other cryptocurrencies taking a hit as well with Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin all down by about 10 percent.

Okay, let's get more on our drivers this morning. Clare Sebastian joins me now. Clare, you know, China has already gotten tough on cryptocurrencies,

but you know, the latest statements really take it to another level.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alison, effectively, you can still earn cryptocurrency in China, you just can't really do anything

with it.

So let's take a closer look at what they've announced today. The People's Bank of China along with a suite of other regulators, including the

country's main banking regulator have come out with a statement. They are saying that all virtual currency related business activities are illegal.

They include services from overseas, virtual currency exchanges, those are illegal. That's pretty significant because we know that while domestic

exchanges have been banned, people have continued to use overseas exchanges to transact.

They are saying that they're going to severely crack down on illegal activities, stepping up enforcement. And in a separate statement from the

National Development and Reform Commission, they say that they're looking towards the orderly exit, sort of gradual dismantling of mining activities

in the country, and that no new mining activities will be permitted.

So this is definitely sort of an expansion of what we've seen before. There was a major crackdown in May, which led to the sort of very fast descent of

Bitcoin from its record highs, above $60,000.00, and that was to do with sort of banning transactions and trading from payments and other financial

companies also cracking down on mining.

So, they are expanding that. You can still own them, you just can't do anything with them. It's causing a lot of turmoil in the markets not only

for virtual currencies, but stocks that are related to that.

If you look at Robinhood, which gets about 40 percent of its revenues from cryptocurrency trading that's down premarket, so is Coinbase. So

definitely, some concerns about this in the market today -- Alison.

KOSIK: Yes, a major knock on with these statements. You know, a lot of Bitcoin mining was done in China. I'm curious what you think about what

China's latest crackdown of cryptocurrency could mean for the future of crypto?

SEBASTIAN: Yes, so this is definitely happening gradually. I mean, China has been cracking down on cryptocurrencies, really, for the best part of a

decade, since they became popular in the country. So, we've seen a gradual shifting of the landscape.

If you look at the data that comes out from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, in January of 2020, more than 70 percent of what's

called the hash rate of Bitcoin that's roughly correlated with the amount of mining was coming from China. In the latest reading in March this year,

that was down to 46 percent. And over the same period, the U.S. has gone from about four and a half percent to 16 percent.

So you can see that the landscape is shifting mining is moving out of China. The big picture here, while China is very important, the future of

crypto, I think, is going to rest on what we're seeing that the tug of war between the ever accelerating mainstream adoption.

Just this week, for example, we've seen Twitter announce that people can tip creators using Bitcoin and the regulation which is happening not only

in China, but of course within even greater intensity and ever increasing intensity in the United States -- Alison.


KOSIK: Yes, call it a push and pull happening. Thank you so much, Clare Sebastian.

In Washington, President Biden is set to host his first in person Quad Summit. The leaders of Japan, Australia, India and the United States are

expected to discuss growing challenges posed by China in the Indo Pacific region. CNN White House correspondent, John Harwood joins me now.

John, what do you think is going to come out of this meeting?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I am sure anything concrete is going to come out of it beyond some smaller scale programs, educational

exchanges, some announcements on 5G cooperative work between the two countries.

But more broadly, this is part of the across the board effort to counter a rising China that President Biden has put at the center of his foreign

policy. We saw it with the U.S., U.K., Australia submarine deal. President Biden pursued that at the risk of ruffling the feathers of France that

actually happened. France was very upset about it, but Joe Biden placed a high priority.

We heard that throughout his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, which was laced through with efforts to -- for the United States on behalf of other

advanced industrial democracies to show that their style of government works in contrast to that of authoritarian governments, like China, and the

Quad is part of that.

It is not a military alliance, but it is part of a diplomatic economic alliance. Australia and Japan were part of the Trans Pacific Partnership

that had been negotiated by President Obama. President Trump pulled out of that, Joe Biden has not attempted to rejoin it. But across the board,

economically, diplomatically and National Security, the United States under Joe Biden is going to attempt to stand up to China and that's what this

meeting is about.

KOSIK: President Biden expected to speak about COVID later, do you know anything about that?

HARWOOD: Well, we expect that he's going to say, Alison, that the booster program is rolling out. We heard from C.D.C. Director Walensky this morning

saying that she overruled an advisory committee, it is recommending a wider group of people to be eligible for booster shots.

But the administration which began in August to point toward a booster rollout in September is now executing that. It applies to the Pfizer

vaccine. We expect the Moderna to come later on, but while the United States attempts to supply a vaccine for the rest of the world, a limited

supply, we heard that at the United Nations from President Biden. He is getting more aggressive within the United States to try to both give

booster shots to expand protection for people who've already been vaccinated, and also expand vaccinations for those who've been resisting so


KOSIK: Okay, John Harwood at the White House. Thanks so much.

Nike is the latest company to warn that global supply chain shortages will hurt sales. Countless businesses are struggling to meet demand, as

economies get going again. Factory lockdowns have put production on hold and now the cost of raw materials and shipping are surging.

Let's bring in Matt Egan. Matt, I know the Biden administration now is considering invoking a Cold War era National Security law known as the

Defense Production Act to address this chip shortage.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Alison, that's right. Listen, supply chains around the world are a hot mess right now. And one of the biggest issues is

this global shortage of computer chips, which are a key component for everything from cars and electronics to Peloton. It's pretty much anything

that has an on-off switch.

And this shortage of computer chips has forced the auto companies to slash production. There is a new estimate out that global auto companies are

going to lose $210 billion in sales this year alone. And so the Biden administration is encouraging Congress to pass new legislation that would

authorize $52 billion to scale up the domestic production of semiconductors and research, but that's going to take a long time, even if it gets through


In the meantime, Biden officials are encouraging the semiconductor industry to share more information with the Federal government about their intricate

supply chains. The hope is that they can try to spot some of these bottlenecks before they emerge.

Now Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, she told me that they are asking nicely for now, but that if industry officials don't comply, they're going

to have to take a tougher stance and she's referring to invoking the Cold War era Defense Production Act, which could compel companies to share more


I also asked the Commerce Secretary how long these shortages are going to last. Here's what she said.


GINA RAIMONDO, U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY: I think we're in this for a while. I believe, our efforts are already making a difference. Things are a little

bit better than they were. So, I think we will start to see incremental improvement over the next six to 12 months.

Honestly, though, I think we're going to be struggling with it well into next year, until we can really smooth out some of these bottlenecks. It's

not going to be this bad, but I think it won't be back to quote-unquote "normal" for you know, well into 2022.



EGAN: Now, Intel CEO has said that the shortages could last into 2023 and the Commerce Secretary conceded to me that that's possible. Alison, all of

this means higher prices and fewer options are here to stay.

KOSIK: And a lot of patience from consumers. Matt Egan, thanks so much.

EGAN: Thank you.

KOSIK: And these are the stories making headlines around the world.

The U.S. says it will continue to deport Haitian nationals at the Texas border on a regular basis. Officials say since Sunday, they've flown close

to 2,000 Haitians back home on 17 repatriation flights. Thousands more remain stranded.

Mexican officials are urging Haitians to give up and request asylum in Mexico or Central America.

The climate crisis is a key issue for many Germans heading to the polls on Sunday. This election follows a summer of deadly flash flooding in Germany

and wildfires elsewhere in the region. CNN's Fred Pleitgen take a look at where the candidates stand on environmental issues.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It was a moment when the global climate emergency became a deadly serious

issue for Germany. Flash flooding this summer in the country's West, killing dozens and destroying entire towns. The moment the environment

became one of Germany's most pressing concerns, says Swen Hutter from Berlin's Free University.

SWEN HUTTER, BERLIN'S FREE UNIVERSITY: We've seen now a steady rise especially after the floods now in summer, we're back to more or less 50

percent saying climate is really the top issue.

PLEITGEN (voice over): An issue that can make and break political campaigns. Christian Democratic candidate Armin Laschet dropped severely in

the polls when he was caught laughing on camera while the German President spoke to flood victims. He later apologized for the incident.

Meanwhile, the Green Party topped the polls for a while and is still set for a strong showing with its strong environmental agenda.

ANNALENA BAERBOCK, GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE (through translator): And for the children, for those of you who are 17 or 20, it makes a massive difference

who gets to lead this country in the future.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Of course, the environment hasn't suddenly become a topic for Germans. One of the largest industrial nations in the world with

a massive thirst for energy, Germany has long debated a fundamental question, how to maintain the economy without destroying the ecology.

In the Social Democratic frontrunner, Olaf Scholz says the time to act is now.

OLAF SCHOLZ, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: Two hundred fifty years of economic development in our country, of industrial development is based on

the use of fossils. If we will change this in 25 years, this is really a big process.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Climate activists have become more vocal in recent years, spurned by a global movement to tackle manmade climate change,

calling for an end to diesel and gasoline powered cars and polluting industries, the bedrock of Germany's economy.

Conservative Candidate Amin Laschet says his party wants to foster innovation to help curb greenhouse gases.

"For our climate policies, we want to invest in innovation and market economy mechanisms, which in our opinion, promise more than all the ban the

SPD and greens are planning," Laschet recently said.

In the 16 years at Angela Merkel governed Germany, the country enacted some environmental policies like ditching nuclear energy and attempting to move

towards renewables. In a recent news conference, though Merkel acknowledged not enough has been done to fight climate change in Germany, which she says

that goes for many other countries as well.

HAJO FUNKE, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: The biggest flaw is knowing all about the climate crisis and not doing anything what has to be done.

PLEITGEN (voice over): That difficult task is now left to Merkel's successor, as the German public is increasingly making clear, it wants

action on climate change without further delay.


KOSIK: And CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Berlin. Fred, what are you hearing from voters as Election Day approaches?

PLEITGEN: Well, it really is quite interesting, because I don't think that the German public has been this mobilized, this politically mobilized,

really over the past, I would say eight or maybe even 10 years.

I mean, the past couple of elections, it was always pretty clear that Angela Merkel was going to win, but right now they really are very much in

new territory. And I think one of the most interesting things that you're seeing is that the heir apparent to Angela Merkel, Armin Laschet who you

just saw in that report, he is currently not in first place. He is in second place currently.


PLEITGEN: There were some unforced errors, and the Social Democratic candidate who is from the rival party, he is actually in first place. And

his big shtick is, the big thing that he's saying is that he should be the Chancellor, because he's the most like Angela Merkel.

So what they are essentially saying is that, it is the continuity that is there, and that's the reason why they are scoring quite high in the polls.

But I think the really interesting thing about this elections, it is the first time that I've seen this in Germany, at all, Alison, is the fact that

you cannot become Chancellor here in this country, unless you have a strong green agenda.

That's something that we've seen more so in this election than ever before. The voters here are demanding of German politicians that there needs to be

change. And of course, that is saying something considering that this is one of the biggest industrial economies in the world.

The auto sector, heavy industry sector, a big thirst for energy, but Germans are saying they want that to move more towards renewable energy.

And they certainly want that movement to be very fast. And really what we've heard today hear from people on the ground in the past couple of

days, I think in many campaign events that we were at is we were hearing from people that they don't think that this is something that can be done

with any sort of delay.

They believe that this is really one of the most pressing issues that certainly is saying a lot considering this country has just gone through

the coronavirus pandemic, that also a big issue, but they really are saying the environment, around 50 percent of Germans say that is really one of the

top issues for them and maintaining the wealth of the society at the same time making Germany green, that really is one of the core issues, probably

the core issue in this election campaign.

KOSIK: That's interesting how you mentioned how he has a shtick that seems to be resonating. I'll put that aside for a moment.

Very quickly, what are you expecting for turnout?

PLEITGEN: I think turnout is going to be fairly high. I mean, as we've seen with the rallies that have been going on from the candidates, it is

interesting to see that there's no candidate, there's no party that really is topping all the others.

Normally, the strongest party in German Parliament would have somewhere between maybe 35 or 40 percent of the vote. Now, we're expecting that the

top party is going to have maybe 25 percent of the vote. And still, it does seem as though many people are going to come out.

Part of that is to do with the fact that the Green Party is probably going to have the best showing that it ever has had in a German election, also,

because the electorate is somewhat more fractured than it was in the past.

But right now, from what we're seeing, a lot of people are getting involved in politics, a lot of people are very interested in the political

situation. It is a very, very close race. And I think one of the interesting thing also for international viewers, and it's very important

also to point out all three of the main candidates who are vying to become Chancellor, the Green Party candidate, the Social Democratic candidate, the

Christian Democratic candidate, all of them are saying that Germany needs to remain very strong and the European Union needs to also remain a very

strong partner in NATO and a very strong partner to the United States, as well.

So despite the fact that you do have some sort of fracture, you have a lot of fracturing in the German electorate, those still seem to be bedrock

positions, that by far the majority of the political scene here in Germany supports, but also the population as well as -- Alison.

KOSIK: Fred Pleitgen in in Berlin. Thanks so much for all that great context.

Still to come on FIRST MOVE. It's not just Germany focusing on the climate this weekend, local citizen hosting a concert to highlight the crisis,

featuring performers from J Lo to Andrea Bocelli.

Before that, with no resolution in sight for Evergrande, we take a look at what could unfold next week.



KOSIK: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. I'm Alison Kosik live from New York where the bulls are in retreat after two days of solid gains. Tech looks to

be set for the biggest losses in the early going. Crypto related stocks are under pressure after China announced a ban on crypto transactions.

Shares of firm that offer crypto trading like Coinbase, Square, and Robinhood are falling in the premarket amid the uncertainty. U.S. stocks

are coming into today's session sporting modest gains for the week. Not too shabby given the 1.7 percent drop we saw on Monday driven by fears of an

Evergrande default.

Next week will bring a fresh set of challenges. Third quarter trading ends on Thursday. The U.S. government could shut down on Friday, the debt

ceiling drama that remains unresolved, and of course, the Fed remains on track to begin cutting stimulus as soon as November. U.S. bond yields have

risen this week as investors anticipate less Fed economic support.

Shares of Evergrande fell more than 11 percent in Hong Kong without any update from the company on whether it made a dollar bond interest payment

that was due yesterday. The fate of the real estate giant remains up in the air as another big interest payment is due next week.

Joining me now, Teresa Kong, she is the head of Fixed Income and Portfolio Manager at Matthews Asia. Great to see you.


KOSIK: So it appears that Evergrande missed this big interest payment owed to bondholders. And although there's a grace period of 30 days on this

first bond payment, how do you see this playing out in the long term?

KONG: Well, I think, it is really important for the Chinese government to talk and to actually guide the market in terms of what it is actually

doing. We all know that the Beijing government has already appointed the Guangdong provincial government to act as facilitator. So, I think it's

really important for the Chinese government to actually say that we're working very closely with both the company as well as all of the

stakeholders and their advisers to come to some type of an orderly restructuring, and I think that would go a long ways in rebuilding


KOSIK: So, you're saying communication is key? We're not getting much communication. So what do you think would be a sign that the situation with

Evergrande is not being managed? Or could be spinning out of control?

KONG: Well, I think greater silence. I actually believe that, you know, information is leaking. So for example, we see signs that there's already a

prioritization, right? So first and foremost, they need to pay all of the homeowners who've already made their deposits, right, they need to deliver

those homes.

Second on that list is probably going to be people who bought their wealth management products. These are moms and pops or retirees who really thought

of these as risk free or quite risk less assets. And probably last in line would be, you know, the onshore bondholders and then lastly, the offshore

bondholders. For institutional investors who actually clipped a double digit coupon, you know, to buy these bonds.

And so there is already some of this array discounted in markets with these bonds trading around 25 cents on the dollar. So I think it's just important

for the government to be much more transparent because news is already coming out.

KOSIK: What about the talk about possibly nationalizing the company?

KONG: Well, I think that's certainly a possibility. I can certainly foresee a scenario in which the Chinese government appoints several of the

largest SOE builders. So these are large companies who will actually will have the appetite and the balance sheet to pick parts of Evergrande.

And then as to the other businesses that Evergrande has, I think there are actually bidders. I think the problem right now is the bid offer spread,

i.e. there are companies out there who are vultures, who are smelling the blood, and know that they can probably buy this very cheaply.


KONG: But if you buy it -- and if Evergrande sells it too cheap of a price, then this liquidity issue can actually turn into a solvency issue.

That's not what we want right now.

KOSIK: I want to get your opinion on what's happening, as we heard today about the crackdown in cryptocurrency from the Chinese government, do you

think that recent policies will wind up hurting the Chinese economy?

KONG: Well, I think we need to step back and look at the big picture. China has capital controls. What that means is that most of the

transactions actually require some type of a physical transaction. So I paid you, I would need money to actually settle that transaction.

Crypto exists in a completely different realm. It is deregulated, it is decentralized, and is anonymous. And for the Chinese government, it's very

important that they can actually see all these transactions. So, they want crypto to be regulated. They want to centralize and they want it


And this is really orthogonal or antagonistic to what the Chinese government actually needs. And the Chinese government is actually managing

a rather delicate cardiovascular system in a way, right? The financial system has money coming in and coming out. And so I think what they're

trying to do is just to ensure that the overall functioning of the financial system without unnecessarily unmonitored types of flows going out

or in to the country.

KOSIK: Okay, Teresa Kong, thanks for your great perspective. Thanks for coming on the show.

KONG: Thank you for having me.

KOSIK: And you're watching FIRST MOVE. The market open is next.



KOSIK: And welcome back to FIRST MOVE. There you have the opening bell on Wall Street and U.S. stocks are up and running on this last trading day of

the week. As expected, we've got a weaker open on Wall Street amid a whole host of China related uncertainties including the still ongoing Evergrande

drama, Beijing's fresh crackdown on cryptocurrency transactions as well.

Bitcoin currently down about eight percent, other major cryptocurrencies, they're selling off as well. Tesla and MicroStrategy, two firms that have

invested lots of corporate cash into Bitcoin, they are also under pressure.

Nike shares are trading lower, too. The sports apparel giant is warning on revenues, citing supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, and other

challenges that have popped up as economies reopen after lockdowns.

On Sunday, Germany votes for a new government. For the first time in 16 years, Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be at its helm. She is stepping

down after four terms and the race to succeed her is too close to call.

The center left SPD currently has a small lead over her party, the CDU. The Greens are also polling strongly.

Joining me now is Carsten Nickel. He is the Managing Director at Teneo, and he joins me live. Great to see you.


KOSIK: Hello. So now it's time to look beyond the Merkel Chancellery. How are you viewing this election? It's just days away.

NICKEL: Yes, it's obviously a watershed moment for German politics. And beyond that, really, for European politics. After 16 years of this, you

know, stability, continuity, and election after election being fairly predictable in their outcomes. This time, as you just said, I think we're

still looking at multiple scenarios for coalition formation and that might well take a couple of weeks and perhaps even months for the next Chancellor

to cobble together a government.

So I think, all eyes will be on that from the European side, because it's very clear that in the end, the new German Chancellor will be looked at

fairly soon for providing leadership in Europe as well.

KOSIK: You know, Merkel is hugely popular among the German voters, but her party, the CDU is struggling. Why is her popularity not transferring over?

NICKEL: Well, I think the shortest possible answer is because she is not running anymore. And, you know, if a party has been in power for such a

long time, one of the, I would say, iron rules of German politics is you only survive at the Chancellery for such a long time, if you manage to get

rid of your most important, you know, competitors within your own party.

Angela Merkel has been extremely successful in that, but obviously, there's a price to pay in terms of her political party after her 16 years at the

Chancellery, and that is that the party seems a little bit exhausted in terms of program, as well as personnel.

KOSIK: What do you think are the key economic consequences of this election? Do you think the outcome could likely change the outlook for the

German economy?

NICKEL: Yes, there's a lot of expectation that a center left SPD Chancellor would start, you know, spending big, investing, and most

importantly, working towards closer fiscal financial integration in the Eurozone. I'm fairly skeptical of that, because as I said before, we're

looking at a coalition government, and some of the smaller partners that will likely be part of that next government are pretty pro-austerity, if

you like.

So overall, I think we're looking at a greater deal of continuity than some in Europe would like to see.

KOSIK: What about politically? How would the outcome of the vote shape, you know, how Germany and the wider European Union deal with allies like

United States and even rivals like Russia and China? Also, is there new opportunity there?

NICKEL: Yes, I think, you know, overall, on the foreign policy front, I would actually expect a large degree of continuity. I think what will be

felt here, at least in the first couple of months, let's say, is the absence of Angela Merkel personally, because let's make no mistake, she has

been a formidable crisis manager.

There's been debate about, you know, her lack of an overall vision, you know, proactive political program for Europe and for Germany, all of that

granted. But as a crisis manager on the world stage, the relationship with President Donald Trump much more complicated relations with Russia and

China. She has been superb in handling that, and I think the pressure on her successor to quickly live up to that historical record will be massive.

KOSIK: All right, Carsten Nickel, Managing Director of Teneo, thanks for all of your analysis.

NICKEL: Thank you.

KOSIK: I don't miss CNN's special live coverage of the German Federal Elections over the weekend. Find out who will be next to lead Europe's

biggest economy.

Join Hala Gorani, Fred Pleitgen, and Salma Abdelaziz as they bring us the latest, Sunday, just before 12:00 p.m. Eastern and 5:00 p.m. in London

right here on CNN.

Coming up after the break, the music event aimed at changing the world for the better. The classical pianist, Lang Lang is here to talk about "Global

Citizen." Don't miss it.



KOSIK: BTS, Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran, and Metallica. Just about every music taste will be catered to this weekend at the global music event to

defend the planet and defeat poverty. "Global Citizen Live" will feature performances on six continents, and the goals are broad.

As well as tackling climate and poverty, the organizers are highlighting the pandemic and inequality. They're calling on world leaders to provide

one billion vaccinations for the world's poorest and one billion trees to tackle rising emissions and enough meals to feed the 41 million people who

are facing famine for the next year.

Hugh Evans is CEO of "Global Citizen" and we're also joined by the renowned concert pianist, Lang Lang who is taking part. He is considered by many to

be one of the most accomplished classical musicians of modern times.

Hello to both of you, and thanks for joining us.


HUGH EVANS, CEO, "GLOBAL CITIZEN": Good morning, how are you?

KOSIK: Hugh, I'm going to start with you. I'm going to start with you and the goals for "Global Citizen." Are you anticipating meeting those goals

with this fantastic concert?

EVANS: Well, firstly, thank you so much for having Lang Lang and I on your program today.

Really, "Global Citizen Live" is focused on those two issues of defending the planet and defeating poverty. Firstly, on defending the planet, we know

that we need the wealthiest nations to fulfill their pledge to commit the $100 billion necessary to the Global Climate Fund to help the poorest

nations adapt to the devastating effects of climate change.

Now, we saw the Biden administration announce at the U.N. General Assembly just a few days ago, they were going to double their commitment to that

fund. But ultimately that won't be fulfilled unless Congress follow through.

In just a few days after "Global Citizen" this weekend, Congress will be meeting. And so this is really a campaign that we're calling on called Code

Red Congress to encourage the U.S. Congress to step up with the most ambitious climate bill ever.

The second objective we are focused on, as you mentioned, is really the issue of the hunger crisis. There are 41 million people on the brink of

starvation in the Horn of Africa and this is an area currently where the G7 nations have not been stepping up, and I think that in 2021, it is

absolutely devastating that there would be anyone, literally on the brink of starvation on this planet.

So we need all G7 nations to provide the World Food Programme with the $6 billion necessary to abate that urgent food security challenge.


KOSIK: Lang Lang, to you, you know, it's often said, music unites people, but I'm wondering what your thoughts are. Is music enough to motivate

people and move them to help change some of the issues of "Global Citizens" goals that Hugh just talked about?

LANG: Absolutely, first of all, thank you for having me. And I'm really grateful to Hugh, to invite me for this magnificent, great cause of

bringing the world together, particularly from the last two years that has been very difficult for all of us. And I think music always unite our heart

and heal our heart.

And through those incredible music, songs, and music arrangement for the pianos, for the other instruments, I believe that tomorrow we will reach a

new point for humanity, and also to have more love and passion to our friends all over the world.

KOSIK: Hugh, I know, there's a lot of issues that you list there, do you think there's a risk of the message being lost?

EVANS: I think ultimately, our message is really clear. It's about defending the planet and defeating poverty. When you're talking about

defending the planet, you've got to make sure that you ultimately stop future carbon emissions and also support nature based solutions to remove

carbon from the atmosphere. And right now to defeat poverty, it is really focused on the hunger crisis. Those are the two issues we want everyone to

focus on because ultimately, those are the most pressing challenges facing humanity at this moment.

KOSIK: Lang Lang, how excited are you to be sort of sharing stages with some of these big acts, these big names? You're not too shabby yourself, by

the way.

LANG: I mean, it's incredible to be part of this incredible concert. And I still remember last year, when we did an online concert all over the world,

that was so exciting. We were putting every segment being you know, performed together in the end and that was incredible.

And this year, I'm so excited to see some of my favorite artists, Coldplay, Billy Eilish, and tomorrow, I will also play one of my favorite songs,

"Bohemian Rhapsody." And this is going to be my first time playing kind of like a piano concerto style.

So I'm practicing pretty hard today. And later, we have another rehearsal right on Central Park. So I'm quite excited to play this piece.

KOSIK: I can't wait to hear it. I will definitely be watching, you know, which reminds me, I want to ask you this. I mean, obviously, you're

accomplished in your own right. Have you ever thought of a collaboration with another pop star? Another musician? Any collaborations in your future?

LANG: Absolutely. That will be amazing. You know, I mean, you know --

KOSIK: Who would you like to play with?

LANG: Ah, the next one, I mean, it would be great, I think Billy Eilish or Taylor Swift will be great.

KOSIK: And Hugh, back to you, I just want to make it clear that your concert doesn't necessarily ask for money. What is it asking people who are

watching that this isn't -- this isn't necessarily just -- it is not a celebration. It is an entertainment event, though. How do you redirect

people to the real mission of this event?

EVANS: Yes, the thing that makes "Global Citizen" unique is that we don't want your money, we want you to take action. Because we know that no amount

of black tie gala dinners will ever be enough to solve the $350 billion a year challenge that is extreme poverty. So instead, we want you to go to or download the Global Citizen app and start taking action, sign a petition, send a tweet, make a phone call to your Member of

Congress, use those collective actions of millions of Global Citizens around the world to call on world leaders to make the multibillion dollar

pledges necessary to address the hunger crisis, and ultimately also address the climate crisis.

That's the power of Global Citizens working together. It's a movement of citizens, calling on world leaders in unison to create systemic change.

KOSIK: Lang Lang, what's your message to everybody who is going to be involved in watching?

LANG: I really hope that everyone we really take care of, you know, this cause, which is fighting poverty and making our planet a much better place.

And this is, you know, our passion and our love for tomorrow's message. And I hope everyone will unite for tomorrow.

KOSIK: Well, I'm excited to watch. Thanks so much Lang Lang and Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, great to talk with you both.

LANG: Thank you.

EVANS: Thank you so much.

KOSIK: You've got it.

Just in, China's HNA Group says its Chairman and CEO have been taken by police for suspected criminal offenses. The company was placed in

bankruptcy administration in February.


KOSIK: The company, which was one of China's biggest conglomerates, says HNA Group and its subsidiaries are operating in a stable and orderly manner

with restructuring work moving forward in accordance with law.

After the break, ahead of a key decision on her conservatorship, a CNN Special, Britney Spears' battle for freedom. Details, coming up.


KOSIK: Welcome back. Leaders and policymakers in the oil and gas industry are trying to figure out how to keep delivering energy while also helping

make the transformation to a cleaner environment.

Emerging technology can help. Eleni Giokos has the story for today's episode of "Think Big."


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS AFRICA CORRESPONDENT (voice over): AI powered pumps, cutting edge air compression systems, CO2 management software, these

are some of the technologies shaping the future of energy.

GIOKOS (on camera): Ministers, top CEOs, and leaders in the oil and gas industry have gathered here at the Gas Tech Conference in Dubai to discuss

ideas and innovations that will revolutionize the industry over the next decades.

GIOKOS (voice over): And there is one common goal: Becoming sustainable while producing the energy the world wants and needs.

GIOKOS (on camera): Houston based, Baker Hughes is at the forefront of tech innovation in the energy sector. CEO Lorenzo Simonelli tells me more

about this big idea.

LORENZO SIMONELLI, CEO, BAKER HUGHES: The next big thing in the energy industry is really about reducing emissions and not fuel sources, and

that's the technology that we're focused on at Baker Hughes as an energy technology company.

GIOKOS: So let's talk about the exciting technologies. You're deploying robotics and AI technologies as well. How is that going to help companies

become more sustainable?

SIMONELLI: I'll give you an interesting stat, if you just make the industry 10 percent more efficient by deploying technologies that we

produce such as flare.IQ, you can actually reduce half a gigaton of emissions, CO2 emissions and that's five percent of the target towards the

Paris Accord.

GIOKOS: I want to talk about flare.IQ because we see a lot of gas flaring. How do you solve this problem, because firstly, you're wasting gas right?

And that could really be bad to the environments.

SIMONELLI: You are wasting gas, which is a huge shame. And so we've developed a technology called flare.IQ. And if you look at a flare stack,

it runs at an efficiency of about 70 percent, which means you've got emissions being flared an incremental 30 percent.

By deploying flare.IQ, we're able to increase the efficiency of that stack from 70 to 98 percent.


GIOKOS: Just as a more mature oil producing nation specifically in the Middle East, what kind of demand do you see? I mean, what kind of

conversations are you having behind closed doors?

SIMONELLI: A number of the major companies are looking at hydrogen clusters, they're looking at the way to develop CCUS. They're actually

eliminating flaring. So, there's a lot of activity.

And I think also during this conference, you're hearing more and more about how companies are moving forward, and also the transfer from coal to

natural gas. Natural gas is one of the ways in which we can transition, but it's also a destination fuel, and we're very optimistic with the outlook of



KOSIK: A court hearing next week could determine the fate of the conservatorship that has controlled Britney Spears' life and money for more

than a decade. The popstar's tireless fight for her freedom is the subject of a new CNN Special Report this weekend. Here's a preview.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Britney's struggle in the national spotlight also raises important questions about how the legal

system and society treat women with mental health issues.

CAMEROTA (on camera): We do have some examples of men, of male celebrities who have in paparazzi pictures and cell phone video appeared unhinged.


CAMEROTA: Erratically at times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women are always judged by a higher standard. I think most of us wonder, what would the narrative look like if she wasn't a


CAMEROTA (voice over): Silvia Dutkiewicz (ph) is a psychotherapist who specializes in the impact of gender based violence and post-traumatic

stress disorder on mental health.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a voyeuristic component to celebrities and especially to this case. It's important to keep in mind that this is a

person and this is someone's life, and that the way we treat her actually says something about ourselves, about our society.


KOSIK: "Toxic: Britney Spears' Battle for Freedom" is reported by our colleagues Alisyn Camerota and Chloe Melas, and Chloe joins me now.

Chloe, great to see you. Because I know that you have followed Britney's story for a very long time, I also know you cannot reveal everything about

this Special, but tell us what you can. Tell us what surprised you.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Hey, Alison, it's so good to see you and to be back in the studio. You know, I have been covering Britney

Spears's long legal battle for the last few years. And I feel like every day, people are asking me questions about Britney and you know, I attend

these court hearings, often in LA. And I felt like I wanted to, with Alisyn, put everything in one place for everyone.

And I think that to a look back at her rise to fame and her childhood, her family dynamics, but you're also going to hear from people who worked with

Britney, who have never spoken out before.

You're also going to hear from celebrities who were targeted by the paparazzi in the early 2000s, the same time that Britney is you know,

shaving her head in front of the paparazzi, relentlessly pursued. And I think that it's a moment of reflection for journalists, for those of us

that consume this type of news, to think, wow, you know, do we owe some apologies to people also outside of Britney? That you know, we all

contributed to the situation that Britney is in now. And also how has this conservatorship gone on for 13 years? So, we're going to dig into that as


KOSIK: That is the top question many of us have on our minds. You mentioned celebrities. I know this special includes some new interviews

with actors Mischa Barton and Rosie O'Donnell. Explain to me why those matter?

MELAS: Well, Mischa Barton was, you know, the "it girl" in the early 2000s. She had a show on "The OC." And you know, it was our version of

"90210" if you guys have seen that show, and she was hounded by the paparazzi, and a lot of negative press about her when she was partying like

just most girls in their late teens, early 20s were.

And there's a big parallel between her and Britney Spears there, and she was dragged by many outlets and splashed across magazine covers during her

most vulnerable moments. And she's going to talk about what that was like and how hard it has been to rebuild her life since all of those headlines

and her thoughts about what's going on with Britney.

Now when it comes to Rosie O'Donnell, I don't think that many people realize that Rosie was the first TV talk show host to sit down with

Britney. And I mean that means Rosie was there from the beginning, and Rosie even went on tour with Britney and did a TV special with her.

She has interviewed her dozens of times. I mean, they were very close. Rosie talks about being this like maternal force in Britney's life and

you're going to hear about Rosie's thoughts on what's happened to Britney and whether or not she has talked to Britney in the years since she has

been under this conservatorship.


KOSIK: All right, so we will mark our calendars. The special tomorrow and then there is a hearing on Wednesday in the conservator case.

MELAS: Special is on Sunday -- Sunday.

KOSIK: Excuse me, Sunday. My days are all messed up. Thank you. The special is on Sunday.

MELAS: Sunday, 8:00 p.m.

KOSIK: 8:00 p.m. There you go. Chloe Melas, thank you so much.

MELAS: Thank you.

KOSIK: Okay, we will put up a banner, I guess of the CNN Special, once again, it airs on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. That's 1:00 a.m. in


And that's it for the show.

Be sure to connect with me on Instagram and twitter @AlisonKosik.

"Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next.

Have a great weekend.