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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Biden: Allies not in Sync on Response to "Minor Incursion"; Beijing Reports 5 New COVID-19 Cases; Report: Ex-Pope Benedict Failed to Act in Abuse Cases; First Aid Flights Arrive in Tonga After Volcanic Eruption; Accenture: Businesses Face Greater Demand for Sustainability; International Energy Agency Blames Russia for High Gas Prices; CEO who Fired 900 by Zoom Returns to Job; Stunning Coral Reef Discovered Off Tahiti Coast. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired January 20, 2022 - 09:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.

Biden blunder? Ukraine shocked as the U.S. president appears to soften his stance on Russian aggression.

COVID clampdown. More cases, more restrictions as Beijing battles to protect the Olympics.

And solar surge. The EV maker hoping sunlight will help them charge ahead.

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


A warm welcome as always to our "FIRST MOVE" around the globe. Great to have you with us for another jampacked show. Not quite as packed as

yesterday, I hope.

An exciting start to the business year as firms debate moves to the metaverse, and plenty of memorably meta stories for my team to disperse.

M stands for monetary surprise. Wall Street now fearing a more aggressive half point Fed rate hike in March.

E for energy prices rise. Brent Crude near levels not seen since 2014, raising fresh inflationary size. We'll discuss with the head of the

International Energy Agency very soon on the show.

T for turbulent ties. The White House attempts to clarify President Biden's comments yesterday on Ukraine. The latest on Biden's Putin prognostications

just ahead.

And A for abandoned highs. Tech now formally in correction territory, ending Wednesday's session down some 10 percent from November records.

U.S. equity market features however, nothing to despise a bit of a bounce after yesterdays across the board weakness. A pause in rising bond yields

helping sentiment today too.

Though European shares I have to say, I'm just taking a look at them now are softer.

A mixed session too, over in Asia. The Chinese Central Bank cutting two key lending rates to help counter their latest restrictions and underpin the

property sector. Shares of leading Chinese property firms rallying on the news leading to a more than 3 percent jump in the Hang Seng too.

Plenty to get to this Thursday. And we begin with the tensions over Ukraine.

U.S. President Biden sending shock waves through Ukraine with his Russian comments. The president said he expects Vladimir Putin will, quote, "move

in" on Ukraine, and also casting doubt over the strength of NATO's potential response.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia will be held accountable if it invades, and it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a

minor incursion, and then we end up having to fight about what to do, and not do, et cetera. But if they actually do what they're capable of doing

with the force amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine.


CHATTERLEY: Our Matthew Chance is in Kyiv, and he filed this report earlier about the reaction there to President Biden's comments. Listen in.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, to say, Ukrainian officials were displeased at President Biden's remarks would be

an understatement. One official told me he was shocked to hear the U.S. leader distinguished between an incursion and an invasion. And to suggest

that a minor incursion by Russia into Ukrainian territory would elicit a lesser response than a full-scale invasion.

That sliding scale of punishments may have been discussed privately. But Ukraine officials say that's the first time they've heard that nuance made

usually U.S. officials.

The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was actually here in Kyiv as President Biden spoke and talk of crushing sanctions or serious

consequences, if there's any kind of military action against Ukraine.

The main concern according to the Ukrainian official that I spoke with is that the new remarks may be seen by Russia as quote, "A green light for

Putin to enter Ukraine at his pleasure."

In other words, to stage a limited land grab as this happened in the past would only light U.S. sanctions in response.

But the White House has been quick to issue clarification of President Biden's remarks saying that a minor incursion might include something like

a cyberattack, but if any - if any further seizure of Ukrainian land, that would be seen as an invasion, and be met with a swift, severe and united


Matthew Chance, CNN, Kyiv.


CHATTERLEY: Let's go to John Harwood now who is at the White House for us.

John, great to have you with us on the show. The clarification as Matthew pointed out there from the White House came swiftly to try and help explain

what perhaps President Biden was thinking and saying there, but it left a lot of people wondering whether this is what's being said privately in

respect to if whether it should have been said outright in that press conference yesterday.


And of course, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken was there in Ukraine and had been speaking to people earlier on in the day, and I'm sure his phone lit

up with questions too.

John, what do you make of it? And where do you think it leaves the U.S. secretary of state ahead of his meeting on Friday with the Foreign Minister

Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister on Friday?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Julia, I think you framed it correctly. What President Biden said out loud was what diplomats

have been saying privately, and what Biden's own aides have been telling reporters on background about how the U.S. and NATO would respond. That

there would be a sliding scale depending on what exactly was done. The question is whether it's wise for the president to say in public what is

being said in private.

Does that change the course of events? Did he say anything that Vladimir Putin didn't already know? It's hard to believe that he -- that that would

be the case because, you know, there have been extensive discussions and Vladimir Putin has a sense of the politics of NATO and Europe. But that's

something that is hard for us to judge on the outside.

Obviously, it upsets the Ukrainians, and that's a significant fact in and of itself, but this is a description of reality, and, you know, you just

have to make the judgment as to whether presidents should be candid in all situations. And the White House tried to clarify what are problems from

what Biden said was, he made a confusing discussion with that minor incursion remark. They clarified it later, but the president, of course,

could have been clearer in his remarks, and could have been more restrained in his remarks.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. To your point, and I think you said it most eloquently. Should you say in public what's clearly being said in private? It's

injected an element of doubt for the Ukrainians, and certainly perhaps given Russia greater leverage in this meeting which is the last thing we

want to achieve.

I mean we're talking about Ukraine, and the pullout piece of what was a two-hour effective commenting Q&A from President Biden where there was much

news made as well. He's willing to break up chunks of his Build Back Better plan in order to get pieces done. He acknowledged that challenges of

handling inflation and that the Fed is in the hot seat there in order to try and bring those prices down and get ahold of inflation. Among many

other things, John, let's cut to the chase. Do you think he's in a stronger position politically and with the public coming out of that Q&A versus

going into it?

HARWOOD: Oh, I doubt that the press conference itself will have much effect on his public standing which is weak at the moment. What's going to have an

effect on his public standing is the success or failure of his efforts to get the pandemic under control. That's job number one.

And the second, the effect he can have to the extent he has any on the course of the economy. Inflation is something that is proceeding on its own

steam at the moment. He may have contributed to it with the size of the rescue plan last year, but that's water under the bridge.

The question now is what happens to inflation, and what happens to economic growth over the course of the year, and that, of course, is dependent on

COVID as well. Those are things that fundamentally are going to determine his public standing.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. After that we just have to wait and see.

John Harwood, great to have you with us as always. Thank you.

Beijing on high alert. Five -- five new COVID cases were found in the Chinese capital with only around two weeks to go until the Winter Olympics.

Ivan Watson joins us now. Ivan, it's fascinating to me that the UK is still reporting tens of thousands of cases and they're relaxing restrictions,

perhaps for political reasons of their own.

Beijing has five cases, and as usual, the response is draconian, but then of course proximity to the Beijing Olympics, ever closer.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. And there are two things at play here.

Number one is China has this zero-COVID case policy where it's trying to extinguish COVID anywhere it pops up.

And secondly, they're two weeks away from hosting the Winter Olympics, and they've created what they call a closed loop system. They want a complete

parallel universe inside Beijing that the athletes and all the journalists will operate in that will buffer them from the rest of the Chinese

population. And hopefully, protect the Chinese population from COVID being brought in.

But how do you do that when China's racing against its own outbreaks? Albeit much smaller than anything you would see anywhere arguably else in

the world, but still by Chinese standards, it's gotten bigger. COVID has reached the Chinese capital. Not just COVID, but Omicron as well.


It was first detected in the city of Tianjin. I believe about a week and a half ago. And since then, Omicron cases have been detected in at least nine

cities around the country from the top to the bottom. We all know how contagious Omicron is.

The methods that China uses the try to extinguish the outbreaks, what we're seeing in Beijing, they say that among five new cases in Beijing in the

last 24 hours that four of them were workers at a frozen food facility. So, they lock it down, they lockdown the apartment buildings that those workers

lived in. The residents are not allowed to come and go. Presumably everybody gets extreme testing as well. And this has worked in the past to

kind of extinguish outbreaks of COVID.

The question is, is as the COVID's been spreading around the country, again, at much smaller numbers, can these same tactics work. And also, can

they work when you have such large numbers of outsiders that are on the verge of coming in?

Some of the measures that China has adopted are, they raise some eyebrows. They're trying to disinfect international mail because they claim that the

first Omicron case in the country was linked to a parcel sent from Canada. And another thing is they think that maybe people are getting COVID from

frozen food. So, they're trying to impose restrictions on these types of imports.

CHATTERLEY: Whatever it takes. I guess the control perception as well as hopefully contain the virus or not.

Ivan Watson, thank you for that.

Let me bring you up to speed with some other stories that making headlines around the world.

A report from Germany has found that former Pope Benedict XVI failed to respond to four cases of child abuse at the Munich archdiocese when he was

archbishop. Investigators say he was fully aware that priest have been accused of misconduct despite his longstanding denials. The Vatican says it

will look at the report.

And CNN's Delia Gallagher joins us now from Rome.

Delia, you can take us through some of the details and the implications, but I think for many of the big questions here will be accountability, and

whether or not he'll face charges. He is, of course, a 94-year-old man.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and a retired pope at that. This, Julia, was a major undertaking among the archdiocese of Munich.

It spans a 75-year period. It was commissioned by them as many Catholic dioceses around the world are doing for a historical reckoning on sexual


Principle finding as you mentioned is on Pope Emeritus who was archbishop from 1977 to 1981 in the diocese of Munich mishandling for sexual abuse

cases. He denies knowing about those cases. He participated in this investigation and provided a sort of lengthy written statement about what

he knew, and what he didn't know. And the investigators who gave a press conference just a few hours ago said that they did not find it probable

that he did not know about those cases.

We should say that the details of those cases are in this report, but just to give you an example, one of the cases alone is 370 pages. So, there's

quite a lot to dig through in terms of what the exact details are in each of those cases.

But another important finding, Julia, has to do with the current archbishop of Munich who is Cardinal Marx. He is a major player at the Vatican and in

Germany. He sits on Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals and he too has been found that he mishandled two cases during his tenure there which began in


So, these are two major figures obviously in the Catholic Church who are being accused of having historically mishandled sexual abuse cases. We have

the response from the Vatican. We've just had the report about two hours ago.

So obviously it will take some time for the Vatican to read through it. Cardinal Marx is due to give a statement in about an hour from now. And in

terms of fallout, they've asked the question to the investigators. The investigators were a law firm in Germany. So, an independent investigation,

but commissioned by the archdiocese of Munich.

And they asked them, you know could there be any potential criminal repercussions on obstruction of justice, for example, or aiding and

abetting. They weren't sure about that, but that's certainly a possibility. However, they did mention the statute of limitations and it would depend on

the particular cases. So, we'll have to see about that.

From the point of view of the Vatican and Pope Francis, what will be interesting to see is particularly with Cardinal Marx. He's a sitting

cardinal, sitting archbishop of Munich. He actually offered to resign last year because of the sexual abuse cases in Germany, not particularly in his



The pope refused to let him resign. So, we'll see in about an hour from now what his response is. We do not yet have a response from the Pope Emeritus.

And we'll see what he has to say. Julia?

CHATTERLEY: We'll look back one hour's time.

Thank you for that, Delia.

Delia Gallagher there in Rome.

The first flights carrying humanitarian aid have landed in disaster hit Tonga. The island nation is facing food and water shortages following

Saturday's violent underwater volcanic eruption. Supplies are being delivered without any contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As CNN's Blake Essig reports.


BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For several days, Tonga was essentially cut off from the rest of the world because of ashfall in damaged communication

lines that likely won't be fixed for several weeks.

But finally, some good news. With the main runway of Tonga's international airport cleared of volcanic ash, planes carrying humanitarian aid and

disaster relief were finally able to reach the island.

Both New Zealand and included water containers, temporary shelters, generators, hygiene and family kits and communications equipment. Because

Tonga has essentially been COVID-free throughout the pandemic, Tongan government officials say, that today's delivery of supplies was

contactless, and that the aircraft were only on the ground for a short time to avoid creating a possible COVID outbreak.

Now, as a result of the eruption and tsunami, the United Nations says about 84,000 people, that's more than 80 percent of Tonga's population, had been

impacted by the disaster. An information from outer islands still remains scarce. While outside support is now starting to arrive, people on the

ground say drinking water is their biggest concern.

But that might not be the case moving forward. That's because Tonga's Speaker of the House says the country could be facing a food shortage after

farmers told him that all agriculture has been ruined as a result of the massive eruption and tsunami.

Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.


CHATTERLEY: Coming up here on "FIRST MOVE."

Is Russia holding all the cards when it comes to Europe's gas crisis? We'll hear from the head of the International Energy Agency.

And power of a different kind. A family friendly EV that recharges using the sun. And yes, I'll explain what that moss is all about too that you can

see in the bottom of your screen.

That's coming up. Stay with us.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."

And a look at U.S. equity futures to begin, and the tech sector is set to bounce after falling into a correction territory yesterday. Just to recall,

that's a 10 percent drop from recent highs, bouncing or at least set to bounce by around 1 percent in Thursday's trade. It's the second time tech

has broken through correction levels so far this year. It does look like investors will buy the dip once again in this session today.

Now all this as Russia triggers fresh uncertainty. No, not in the energy space. This time in the crypto space. The Russian Central Bank warning it

could ban both the use and mining of digital assets or cryptocurrencies. It says assets like bitcoin threaten financial stability and citizens' quote,


Beijing, if you remember made sweeping moves to ban crypto activity across China last year too.

Now some security risks. Digitalization, a greater focus on sustainability and managing year three of an evolving pandemic, just some of the

challenges, businesses are facing as we head further into 2022. And global consulting firm Accenture aims to help clients tackle.

Accenture has more than 670,000 employees, serving 7,000 clients around the world and operates in 200 cities across 50 different countries.

And joining us now is chair and CEO of Accenture, Julie Sweet.

Julie, fantastic to have you on the show. Good morning.

We have much to discuss today including, I know your panel at the World Economic Forum on sustainability. But I want to start giving the expanse

and breadth of the clients you cover all around the world. What they're saying to you at this moment? How concerned they are about the risks and

the outlook particularly for the pandemic? What are you hearing?

JULIE SWEET, CHAIR AND CEO, ACCENTURE: Thanks, Julia. It's great to be here this morning.

You know, it's interesting because as much as there is a very important focus on the pandemic and a lot of, you know, focus on things like

inflation. The discussions I'm having with CEOs across every industry, there's three dominant themes.

There's, we're going to deal with volatility and uncertainty by going faster on digital transformation. And we see that really, we call it

compressed transformation because it's unbelievable how much companies are willing to take on, not being sequential but to really transform and change

using digital.

The second big thing is talent. Both the talent war, but even more importantly how do they transform their own talent. And they look to us

because of course that's how we built our business. We are a major learning organization in addition to what we do for our clients.

And then, third, it is sustainability to link to the web discussion. I was just talking to my team about how really all of us are having that

conversation about how to embed sustainability. And, you know, I've often said we think sustainability is the next digital. Certainly, for our

business, and the impact of what it's going to have across industries.

CHATTERLEY: You know, it's fascinating of all the things I read about what you have been saying, and what Accenture has been looking at and the focus

for your customers. It was that point that you made about talent. And about moving on from the discussion about the future of work being are we

physical, are we digital, to how do we attract the best people, and make sure that everyone's contribution wherever they are, and however they're

doing their work is the best it can be.

Just talk about Accenture first though because you do have hundreds of thousands of employees. What's the split in terms of those that are

physically in your offices versus working from home today?

SWEET: You know, that's something that changes literally week to week right now. And has been for the last two years because of the pandemic. And so,

you know, we were fully open in the U.S., for example, and just a couple of weeks ago, we closed down our office.

But what's really important you know and it's a great question for not just us, but for others, is that we have moved beyond this idea of spaces and

places to, how do you effectively get your work done, right? And how do you connect to clients and to each other. We call it omni-connections and

that's both technology, it's cultural, and it's leadership development.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. It's funny. A member of my family, and I know she won't mind me mentioning, was recently hired into a role where they said, look,

you know, it's interesting because you are not quite qualified for the role, but your talent and your skills are so great.


We want to bring you in and make sure you can take on this role very quickly. And it reminded me of something that you'd said about looking at

people's skills perhaps rather than the role. And then you can bring brilliant people in, and then the role will evolve.

Talk to me about how that and the importance of that as we head through 2020 years particularly as here in the United States, we talk about the

skills gap, bringing people in from the sidelines perhaps too, getting great people in, and then evolution to rolls is perhaps more important.

SWEET: Julia, you're really putting a -- you know a focus, I think, on something that's super important that the leading companies are doing,

which is they are focusing on skills. And the first reason is because we know that skills are becoming obsolete very fast because of the change in

digital and the use of technology. And it also enables you to open up the talent pipeline.

So, for example, in the U.S., we will hire 20 percent of our entry level hiring this year, will be into our apprenticeship program. Our

apprenticeship program does not focus on four-year degrees. It focuses on skills and potential.

And then we have a state-of-the-art learning program for all of our people because skills are going to evolve. We also have a database of all of the

skills of our client-facing people. And we can use algorithms to identify who can be upskilled into new, high areas.

And so, as you think about what is the - what are the leading companies going to be talking about in the next two to three years from a talent

perspective, it will be about skills. It'll be about the use of AI to help their people develop their skills, and to transform organizations.

CHATTERLEY: Is that something that can apply to small or medium-sized businesses? Because you know you're an enormous company. The access to

technology, to AI, to be able to pinpoint people, and upskill them is something very different perhaps than what a small or medium sized business

can do. How does it - how does it translate?

SWEET: It's a great question because, of course, many jobs are in the small and medium size enterprises.


SWEET: And here's again where you can leverage technology. There's a lot of learning that's online. And so, the clarity that a small and medium size

business needs to have is what's their business strategy, and what are the skills that they need. And that's of course, completely within their

knowledge base and control.

And then how do you partner? How do you collaborate with other learning organizations, and even within other industry organizations to actually

build out the learning and make it affordable? And we're seeing that start to happen in many of the industry - particularly around the associations

like in -- for example, NAM in the U.S. You know focuses very much on talent development and the use of digital. And so, it's super exciting to

see this becoming accessible through technology to all sizes of companies.

CHATTERLEY: I want to talk to you about sustainability too because it sorts of flows from this conversation. I know you at Accenture, one of the things

that you did very early on was say, look. We're going to be completely transparent. There are things that we have to fix. There are things that

perhaps we wouldn't like to be transparent about.

But that's what we need to be today in order to tackle some of these issues. And I know some of the research that you did said less than half of

your clients actually understand how and how they improve, and take action to improve their sustainability, whatever the different metric within that

barrier is. Did those sorts of number that didn't understand how they go about it, were they honest about it?

SWEET: Yeah, Julia, I think you're focus on action is absolutely the right one because it is about moving from commitment to action. And so, that's

why we focused our research on, are companies ready, and that's where you get that statistic where I think people were absolutely being you know very

open about it.

And, in fact, today, we just launched new research to help our clients move from commitment to action. It's talking about, you know, measuring ESG and

creating value. It demonstrates that, you know, companies are still behind on the basics.

Data, technology, and skills, which should sound familiar because those are the same things that are needed really across the enterprise for all of our

business priorities.

And so, I think, focusing on data, technology, and skills as a roadmap of moving from commitment to action is absolutely critical, and that's what

we're doing with clients. Where you know, we're working with Best Buy for example, that announced they were creating 1,000 new jobs and 30 percent

would be diverse, and they're partnering with us, to make sure that that's meeting their sustainability goals around diversity.


We're partnering with Shiseido who's put sustainability at the heart of their business priority on global skin care. And we're working with them to

upscale their talent as well as build in net -- carbon net zero. And so, these are where companies are focusing on those three things to make sure

that they can make that pivot.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. Today it's a choice. It's becoming ever increasingly a necessity. And I think once we get standards for this, that they can be

compared with other companies on, then shareholders, investors, perhaps, will be really forced to centralize this, in their thinking too. And I'm

not sure we're there yet.

But Julie, we'll reconvene on this conversation because we're running out of time. Great to have you on. Thank you so much, and we'll speak again


Julie Sweet, chair and CEO of Accenture there. Thank you.

The market opens next. Stay with us.


Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."

I call it a correction deflection. Tech stocks are roaring back in early trade on Wall Street. A nice bounce after the Nasdaq fell into correction

territory. So, down 10 percent from recent highs yesterday.

Tech investors hope earnings will lend support to the sector under intense pressure from interest rate rise uncertainties.

Netflix is the first of the fangs to report. Reports after the bell today, lots of talk too that the Fed will tighten rates by a more aggressive half

a percentage point at its March meeting. But in commodity investors remain undeterred. We're seeing big moves already this year as investors bet on

strong demand.

Brent Crude currently up 12 percent year to date. Coal coalescing up more than 31 percent. Steel looking steely, up 4 percent. And lumber, limbering

up a 7 percent year to date too.

Now an electric car with the potential to be the greenest of them all.


So says the company, the German makers of this family-friendly hatchback. (INAUDIBLE) on big advantage if you're living in the city. And the sunny

day will help too. It's called the Sono Sion and its battery can be topped up using solar panels which cover the body.

The company is taking preorders ahead of its launch next year with a purchase price of around $32,000. Though there have been development

delays, and its outsourcing production to a subsidiary of Evergrande Group which itself faces economic head winds.

So much to discuss. And Laurin Hahn is the CEO and joins now.

Laurin, fantastic to have you on the show.

Let's start with the technology here because I was reading about it earlier. Painted projected, injection molding that yields solar cells

embedded in the polymer. So, effectively, the car itself is a solar panel. Is that right?

LAURIN HAHN, CEO, SONO MOTORS: That's correct, and nice to be here, Julia.

Well, it's a solar electric vehicle. It's totally covered in solar, also the side panels, and we have to paint in that proprietary solar technology

which we you know developed over the last couple of years. That is, you know being automotive grades, being crush-resistant, being highly scalable

and cost effective.

CHATTERLEY: You know it's interesting. What I have heard from others certainly in this space is that adding solar as part of the energy

provision for the vehicle doesn't get it very far in terms of functionality. So, this has to be targeted to people that do shorter

journeys. Germany, for example, I think where their average commutes surround what, 10 miles per day. Does that resonate?

HAHN: Exactly. So, this car is a perfect commuter car. The average German is commuting 10 miles. You are correct. And this vehicle here is recharging

on average per day 10 miles. In a week, it's 70 miles through the sun.

Additionally, of course, I have a battery on board. I can recharge it just as a regular electric vehicle, but we have this convenient feature. This

thing where you don't have to think about recharging, charging infrastructure, range anxiety, all the things where people might think

about electric vehicles today, well, it's not the time yet. But this vehicle here is the perfect vehicle for you.

CHATTERLEY: So, though there will be people look at this and say, the solar part of this is just a gimmick and actually you're just going to be relying

on the battery. So how much -- if we take one of those customers that's just doing that minor commute on a day-to-day basis, how often are you

going to have to recharge this, assuming there's a significant degree of sun I would assume. How often do they actually going to have to charge it?

And how much provision is that solo really going to provide?

HAHN: Well, for average German commuter -


HAHN: This means four times more range. So, four times less charging compared to a regular electric vehicle with the same battery size, same

distance driven over a period of two months. And that's the point. That's the whole thing about solar. It's taking away the fear of recharging, the

fear of range anxiety. It makes it more convenient, energy efficient, and even, you know, you save in costs. Energy is coming from the sun for free.

CHATTERLEY: You've talked about a twofold path to market selling preorders and selling this vehicle, but also perhaps selling the technology to other

EV makers. Have you managed to sell this technology to anyone else at this stage?

HAHN: Yes, exactly. We're building up our company on two pillars. That's the car itself, the world's first SEV. And the second pillar is selling and

licensing this technology to be - to be customers. Trucks, trains, buses, camper vans. Just imagine what potential is out there, and we have secured

over 10 contracts in LOIs already with industry leaders like MIN and others, and that's showing us there's huge potential in this market to make

the whole logistic industry greener.

CHATTERLEY: Can you name some of the others out of interest? Because I do think this is an important part of the business if you can make it happen.

HAHN: Yeah, sure. It's easy mile. The is a French autonomous shuttle company. Just think about a of a shuttle. Also having now, energy autonomy.

For one is - Ali motors as a last mile delivery vehicle from Germany.

Think about last month, vehicles being short distance driven, perfect for solar. And for phone is even boats. While it be bodes, it's both

manufacturer from Hamburg Germany where you have a huge surface thriving (INAUDIBLE) short distances. And that's perfect for solar.

CHATTERLEY: Two quick questions for you because I have seen speculation about this. Have you secured a contract and manufacture agreement with

Sweden's - because this is one that questions that are being asked.

HAHN: And the second thing is do you have enough money? This is such an in cash-intensive business. I know you've raised money, but do you have enough


HAHN: Well, look. We have been with our contract manufacturer NAS in Sweden working together since 2019. And we are on close exchange every day making

it happen, and the production of design is currently planned for 2023, and nothing has changed on that.

CHATTERLEY: Is that a promise? They're coming in 2023. There had been some delay.

HAHN: Exactly. So, it's our plan for 2023 as we always say in the public, and yeah. Looking good.

CHATTERLEY: We shall see. Keep up to date with us please. Good to talk to you, and good to check your progress. Laurin Hahn.

HAHN: Thank you so much, bye.

CHATTERLEY: Thank you.

OK. Who's to blame for Europe's sky-high energy prices? The International Energy Agency is pointing the figure. We speak to the executive director



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."

The International Energy Agency is accusing Russia of orchestrating an energy crisis in Europe. It says Russia is sending around 25 percent less

natural gas to Europe than is usual at this time of year. In order to, in part, exert political pressure. Russia has denied it.

It provides around a third of Europe's gas. And experts say just a 20 percent increase in supplies would cut European gas prices by around half.

The IAA also just published its monthly oil outlook and predicts demand this year will exceed pre-COVID levels.

Joining us now, I'm pleased to say, is the IEA's executive director, Fatih Birol.

Sir, fantastic to have you on the show. Thank you so much for your time.

Let's start with Russia. Very concerning, and you have been very pointed in your comments regards of their behavior.

FATIH BIROL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY: So, thank you very much. Yes, in Europe, we are seeing a natural gas prices going higher

and higher compared to historical leverages. Gas prices are five to six times higher, and natural gas prices themselves are higher, and this

natural gas is a major input to electricity generation busy. Electric is the prices are skyrocketing.


There are three reasons behind it. One, the demand for natural gas in Europe is extremely strong compared to historical averages, very strong

growth in natural gas demand.

Second, on the production side, we have seen in Europe and elsewhere, several planned and unplanned outages from the fields. This is the second


And third, the different parts of the world such as Brazil, China, two major giants, a very dry year last year as a result the hydropower

generation was very low, and they have compensated this gap with importing a lot of gas, LNG, which shrink the global gas markets.

These are the three important factors, but on top of that, the behavior in my view, the strategic behavior of the most important player in the

European gas market as an exporter which supplies about 45 percent the European gas export, Russia, did decrease their exports to Europe. About 25

percent lower than, for example, the year before.

And that will take other countries who are providing exports to pipelines, Norway, Azerbaijan, Algeria. They all increase their exports to Europe.

Whereas behaved seen decline of exports of Russia to Europe which together with the low gas torch levels in Europe, it has to increase the gas prices


CHATTERLEY: I mean, the Russians are saying, look, we're fulfilling our contractual obligations and they are. So, they're not effectively doing

anything wrong, but they're just not providing more than they are contractually obligated to do, and they could. And we know that they're

providing more to the Chinese for example, than they're on obligated to do. So, the capacity is there. You think they're playing politics at a very

important time politically.

BIROL: I think you and your colleagues, the audience can decide, but I can give you some numbers.

Today Russia has more than 100 -- at least 100 million cubic meters per liters of spare capacity. Which means - which means easily they can

increase their exports to Europe by 30 percent which would immediately comfort the European gas markets and would help the prices to go down and

give support to economic growth in Europe. Especially, there are large number of sickness of population. They would be in a better station.

But Europe -- Russia is not doing this. It's a choice. It is true, that they are -- they are fulfilling their obligations, but if you want to be

considered as a reliable partner, a reliable supplier in days like this, like the other pipeline exporters, like Norway, Azerbaijan, Algeria, you

can increase your gas exports or provide more gas for the spot sales, which they are not doing, and as you mentioned, they're increasing their exports

as our study finds out to China, a significant amount.

CHATTERLEY: If there is an incursion or an invasion or conflict in Ukraine, and that's obviously being discussed. How high might oil prices go, might

energy prices go? Have you done any forecasting? Can you give us a sense of what you are thinking?

BIROL: I think it's such a huge geopolitical event. A major, major implications on the gas prices, if not, leading to turmoil. But I can tell

you that this will not be good news for Russia in terms of gas because you make long-term contracts. You have to trust your partner that under any

conditions, you will get this gas, and if the consumers believe that you are going to cut gas energy at difficult times, you will lose trust for

many years to come.

Even today, I can tell you when I look at the gas industry, not only Russia, but around the world. Gas industry, they are not getting good marks

from millions of consumers around the world because gas has been presented to us, the consumers, as a reliable, affordable, and in relative terms a

clean energy source.


CHATTERLEY: The problem is -- the problem is, Fatih, is that nations around the world rely on their energy supplies. That's the problem. There's excess

reliance too. So, whether they're good partner or not, their energy is needed at least today.

Forgive me, but I want to ask you about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline because the Germans are considering it seems a permanent suspension. Would that be

a good idea, in your mind, and what would be the consequences for energy prices and for the market if that were the decision?

BIROL: I think your previous statement, or your question are very much linked -


BIROL: The keyword, the magic word here is diversification. And for example, in the case of Europe - Europe is going to these difficult days

because Europe is for a strategic would lack natural gas, is relying, a disproportionate way to one single supplier, Russia.

I think this is not a good decision from execute of analogy point of view, and it is today that natural gas and Russia, tomorrow, it can be lithium

when we look at the clean energy transition. So, diversification is I think the most important way to look at it, and not in my view, should be

considered in that context.

CHATTERLEY: So, fight fire with fire? A permanent suspension?

BIROL: I really hope that the things will not go to that direction, but the governments need to make sure that they are ready for any such instances,

and it is the reason one of my recommendations to European ministers are they should take obligations for storing gas at certain levels in each

country as they are doing for oil. There is no harmonized European regulation now to help gas storage to a certain level. I think it should be

a good idea to at that issue as well.

CHATTERLEY: I agree. Storage quotas. I hope this moment, if none other, forces the conversation to be had, because it's desperately required.

Fatih Birol, sir thank you so much for talking to us once again. Great to have you on the show. The executive director there of the IEA. We'll speak

soon, sir, please.

Stay with "FIRST MOVE." More to come.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."

And finally, you may recall just before Christmas, a CEO fired 900 employees in a Zoom call.


Well, Vishal Garg is now returning to full-time duties at following a leave of absence to, quote, "reflect on his leadership" as the

board puts it. A new head of Human Resources has also been appointed after the fired employees were left high and dry. They were promised a follow-up

e-mail from HR, but one employee told CNN, he immediately lost access to his company computer, phone, e-mail, and messaging services. He's back, but

is he better? We hope.

And finally, on "FIRST MOVE."

Good grief. Look at this reef in a recent discovery off the coast of Tahiti. This enormous coral reef has pristine rose-shaped corals

blossoming. It is what's called the ocean's twilight zone, about 70 meters down where there's just enough light to sustain life. I wanted to show you

because it's just incredibly beautiful. Look at that. Our nature.

That's it for the show. If you missed any of our interviews today, they will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. Search for @jchatterleycnn.

In the meantime, stay safe.

"Connect the World" with Larry Madowo is next. And I'll see you tomorrow.