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Quest Means Business
Russia's War On Ukraine; Union Expands Strikes At 38 GM And Stellantis Sites; Hollywood On Strike; Canadian And Ukrainian Leaders Hold News Conference; UAW Latest Union To Join Work Action Resurgence; Delta Announces Roadmap To Net-Zero By 2050. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 22, 2023 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The end of the week and it's an hour to go of trading and I'm afraid it's not going to be a particularly elegant
end to the week, as you can see. Just after lunchtime, the market turned turtle, not a huge loss, but a bit of a grumbling, a bit of post-prandial
indigestion we thinks from the market as we go into the weekend.
The events that have been talked about today: President Zelenskyy telling the Canadian Parliament it is not enough to choose the right side of
history, you have to lead.
US autoworkers are expanding their strikes against General Motors -- GM and Stellantis. And AI is not the enemy of journalism, a potential friend says,
my sit-down guest, the CEO of Axel Springer.
On a Friday, yep, live in New York, September the 22nd. I'm Richard Quest and I mean business.
Any moment now, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy will hold a joint news conference. As you can
see, the scene is set, the podiums are ready. Now we just wait for the president and prime minister, because Ottawa is the latest stop on
Zelenskyy's world tour.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: I had no doubt that you will choose the side of freedom and justice when Russia launched a full scale
war against Ukraine. Thank you.
ZELENSKYY: But it is -- but it is never enough only to choose the right side, you also need to be able to be a leader on this side, and you do. You
are a leader and I thank you for that, Canada.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now this plea from the landscape of support seems to be working. Canada has promised to give Ukraine nearly $500 million in military aid,
and on Thursday, of course, President Biden promised a new weapons package as well.
Unfortunately, the war rages on in Zelenskyy's absence. Ukraine successfully hitting the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
Paula Newton is in Ottawa, and you will forgive me, I will interrupt you, if I may, if we do see the leaders coming on the stage. And in fact, if I'm
not -- so tell me why don't we expect them to say now?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, you just pointed out in fact that Canada is contributing more military aid, the aid
will be significant. And again, when President Zelenskyy talks about leadership, he is hoping to be able to rely on Canada to put a little bit
of pressure on the other allies who may be a little bit more reluctant.
Having said that, given his speech in Parliament, I lost count of all the ovations, Richard. This is the easy part, coming to Canada is the easy
part. He is among friends and among a very large Ukrainian diaspora as well.
At issue here, though, is that fraying alliances and given what we've heard in the last week, both some in Europe and some in the United States, it
will become a tougher sell. I do want to note that in Parliament, he used the word genocide. Again, he wants to make clear that he believes there is
an equivalence between, you know, the worst genocides that we have seen in the last century and what is happening in Ukraine right now.
He is hoping to underscore that, both in Canada and with allies so that when he asks for more military aid, when he says that more military aid
needs to arrive more quickly, that he will actually get a response that he likes.
This has not been an easy week for President Zelenskyy. The best thing that happened, Richard likely, was that audacious bold attack on the
headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet. It was quite a night in Crimea with that Russian-occupied territory, really not knowing what was going to
happen, and all of those missiles were not intercepted, not all of them, at least by those Russian defense systems, and that is truly significant.
I can tell you what Ukraine and even Ukrainian-Canadians here in Canada is they want to be seen to be on that winning side, the bolder they look, the
stronger they look, the more they look like winners, the more they believe they can actually elicit more of that military aid. That is going to be
announced here in a few minutes.
QUEST: All right, stay with me. Fred is with me as well, Fred Pleitgen in Dnipro in Ukraine.
Fred, before we ask the question, just to go back, we saw a video showing smoke rising from the shipyard in Sevastopol, one of the largest cities in
Crimea. The fleet headquarters are said to be damaged and one of the soldiers missing.
So Ukraine seriously, Fred, ups the ante, when a lot starts attacking these very significant targets.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely ups the ante and certainly shows that they have a pretty big long distance
capabilities, the Ukrainians. It seems though, in this case that the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, Richard was hit by storm shadow
missiles, or the equivalent because they had a French version of that missile as well.
Some of the videos that have been coming out, Paula, sort of alluded to this a little bit. The Russians were saying that they had intercepted most
of the missiles, but apparently, one had struck the Black Sea Fleet headquarters.
Judging by some of the videos that we're seeing coming out of Sevastopol. And, you know, we have to keep in mind that the Black Sea Fleet
headquarters in Sevastopol is actually right in the center of town, as is the port, the military port there as well. So there were a lot of people
who are out there, there were a lot of people who were taking videos as this was happening, some of those videos strongly indicated that that
headquarters was hit by two missiles, in fact, rather than just by one.
So certainly, the Ukrainians are celebrating this as a very important attack to them. They said on the one hand, it is, of course, very important
for them to hit the Russians in their centers of logistics and in their centers of decision making, as well and that is something that you're
absolutely right, it has been happening a lot over the past couple of weeks, we've seen that strike on a submarine that was in a drydock, a
landing ship that was in a drydock, also a very sophisticated surface-to- air missile system taken out by the Ukrainians, and then also a Russian military airbase, all of that in occupied Crimea.
And I was able to speak today, Richard, to the commanding general of Ukraine's offensive in southern Ukraine and he says that strikes like that
are absolutely key for his forces. They raise morale among the Ukrainians. He says they cause confusion among the Russians, but also on the
battlefield itself, he says it makes a difference.
He says if they take out a commander somewhere in the rear echelon, that means there is not going to be a chain of command. And there could be
disarray on the frontlines, which saves Ukrainian troops and makes it more difficult for the Russians to operate. And also, at least to a certain
extent easier for the Ukrainians to attack -- Richard.
QUEST: Okay, Fred, but Paula, as they do these audacious attacks, that sort of ups the ante, doesn't it? And it does up the ante and that can often get
the politicians concerned that they're heading towards escalation.
NEWTON: Yes. What's interesting here is that part of the bilateral talks that took place between Justin Trudeau and President Zelenskyy was also
about, you'll remember long ago, the 10-point peace plan that President Zelenskyy put on the table.
You know, that is him saying to the Allies, okay, I understand. What are the outlines of this kind of a deal? At the same time saying that he fully
expects this war to go on, at least for many more months, perhaps many more years.
Listen, Richard, this is a tough situation, because as you say, the more that the West continues to arm Ukraine, the more Russia will punch back.
And I think what is significant, as well as even if you look at the pattern of Canadian military aid, a lot of what they're giving is what, you know,
Fred has been describing over there, from wherever it can come from, whether it comes from US stockpiles, and Canada is paying for it or whether
it comes from Europe, it has a lot to do with those precision missiles and that is something that Russia obviously is watching closely, and will
continue to punch back hard on.
QUEST: Paula, I will let you go and sharpen your pencil and get your seat ahead of that press conference while I'll stay with Fred, who has still got
duty to do here.
Fred, how long can this go on? I mean, I know how long is a piece of string, but these tin cup tours, begging for more money, seeking greater
armaments. We've got spats with Poland, where are we in all of this?
PLEITGEN: Well, that's a very good question, and certainly, the Ukrainians, from what we're hearing, believe, that this could go on for an extended
period of time. In fact, when I was speaking today to that commanding general of the southern front, which is really the main thrust of Ukraine's
counteroffensive. You know, he was already talking about their offensive dragging on well into the winter.
We know so far from the Ukrainians that they've made less headway than they would have hoped in the counteroffensive. They do believe that there could
still be a big breakthrough coming if they reach a certain area to the south. But you know, the US has been telling the Ukrainians that they need
to move faster because they believe in the winter, it will be much harder for them to operate.
We know here, as the temperatures fall, but then also especially as the rain set in in late fall, the earth in pretty much all of Ukraine
essentially turns into butter and it's almost impossible for vehicles to operate there.
The commanding general told me, they fully expect that they are going to be operating all winter because right now, they are not necessarily moving
very much with heavy vehicles they're moving a lot with smaller, sort of troops smaller groups of men and women trying to capture territory.
So the Ukrainians are saying it could go on for a very long time. But of course, one of the things they're concerned about, and I think that we've
seen that over the past couple of days with President Zelenskyy in the United States, especially, is are their partners going to stay in it for
the long run? Or is some of that solidarity going to wane?
Poland was a pretty big blow for the Ukrainians. You could tell that they were quite shocked by the fact that the polls now announcing that they're
not going to give any more weapons that, of course, more due to a grain dispute that they have with Ukraine, and the fact that there's elections
upcoming in Poland, but nevertheless, it's uncertainty for the Ukrainians, with an ally that they thought was very staunch and was going to stick in
it for the long run.
They do have commitments in the long term from their partners from the United States, from Germany from others as well. But of course, countries
are asking how much longer can this go on? How much longer will this have to go on? Of course, the Ukrainian say they would like to end all of this
sooner rather than later -- Richard.
QUEST: Fred Pleitgen, it's Friday night. Go and have a drink at least before we have to talk to you anymore on -- send me the bill. Fred Pleitgen
In a moment, the autoworkers widening the strikes at two of America's Big 3. The third that's Ford, has avoided the same fate. We'll talk about why
that might be. And of course, don't forget when they speak in Ottawa, we will be there.
It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS on a Friday. You are very welcome.
QUEST: The United Auto Workers Union is expanding its strike against only two of the Big 3 carmakers, General Motors and Stellantis.
Workers at Ford won't follow suit, at least not for now and the UAW president, Shawn Fain said this decision reflects the status of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN FAIN, PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTO WORKERS UNION: But to be clear, we're not done at Ford. We still have serious issues to work through, but we do
want to recognize that Ford is showing that they're serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it's a different story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Interesting, Vanessa Yurkevich is with me covering these strikes. GM says it has put its fifth offer down and it was -- you and I talked about
it yesterday. So now, is it a case of divide and rule by Ford.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well listen, GM and Stellantis just out with statements about these targeted strikes,
expanded targeted strikes.
GM saying that this is unnecessary, Stellantis saying that it appears that the union is more interested in their political agenda than making a deal.
But as you heard from the UAW president right there, still details to be worked out with this Ford contract, but progress enough that they avoided
expanding the strike at more Ford facilities.
Right now, we are seeing an additional 39 facilities at GM and Stellantis, that's their entire parts and distribution setup that are now on strike. So
you have 5,600 workers now, at those two companies joining the nearly 13,000 that have already been on the picket line.
So clearly, targeted against GM and Stellantis, while giving for to pass at least for right now -- Richard.
QUEST: How does it all work? I mean, it's all a bit opaque to me. Does each car maker each car, they can make its own offer, but there is a commonality
of sort of principle between them all?
YURKEVICH: Right. So about six weeks ago, the UAW put forth their set of demands, we know a lot of what they've been, they want four-day work
weeks, they want cost of living adjustments reinstated. They want those 40 percent in wage increases over four years, and then it is an opportunity
for the automakers to submit their proposals individually.
And there is then the opportunity for proposals to be traded back and forth between the automakers and the union. As you mentioned, GM put forth its
fifth offer, they're still waiting on a response and Stellantis also, Richard, says that they put an offer, a new offer in earlier this week, but
they're still waiting for the Union for a response to that.
So a lot of back and forth to try to get this right.
QUEST: Sorry for the geeky questions. But I'm always fascinated by this. So as this process continues, does everything sort of eventually coalesce
around a common number or a common idea of what the deal is? Or do you end up with different deals for the different companies?
YURKEVICH: Usually, if the union strikes a deal with one of the automakers and it's obviously looking the closest with Ford, that deal will
be announced, and then it is up to the other companies to either try to match it or to go possibly above in their wage offer, but maybe they're not
offering as much on the other demands.
But usually how it's set up is there is a target, usually the union just picks one automaker to go after. But this time, it's so unusual, because
it's really all three and also these targeted strikes, really, it is a procedure that we haven't seen used here in the US since the 1990s.
And so this is really new for this new administration in the union, and this is new for a lot of these automakers who are trying to get that
number, right, but nobody knows that number, Richard besides Shawn Fain.
QUEST: Thank you. Excellent.
Now, I feel I much better understand it as we go through into another week. Thank you, Vanessa. Have a good weekend.
YURKEVICH: You, too.
QUEST: Now, the other strike that we're watching, writers in Hollywood studios. Now, they are back at the negotiating table. It's a third day of
talks and according to sources, the two sides made some progress. More than 10 hours of marathon talks.
It is the heads of the studios, including CNN's parent company, Warner Bros Discovery are attending.
Natasha Chen is with me from Los Angeles.
Is it a similar -- I don't know if you were able to have the privilege of hearing Vanessa and the way she described how those negotiations. Is this a
case of one number from all of them? Or are they all in negotiating separately?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, we are hearing that the heads of major studios are sitting down with negotiators of the
Writers Guild of America, and keep in mind, the actors union completely separate, still on strike, they are not part of this negotiation.
But the fact that we're on day three of this is a good sign, especially because there was an attempted meeting last month that did not go so well.
And this strike, unlike the auto workers, this strike has been going on for the writers for more than four-and-a-half months.
There are many of them really struggling, some of them not making rent now, getting evicted, especially because here in California, eviction
moratoriums were lifted this year, and so this summer has been very tough for a lot of these writers trying to get second and third jobs, just trying
to make ends meet here, as they struggle to agree with the studios on issues related to artificial intelligence, on issues related to streaming
residuals, how much income they receive based off of how many times you stream your favorite TV show or movie on a streaming platform.
Here's one writer that spoke to CNN today on the picket line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT CHESTER, TV WRITER: I'm, you know, guardedly optimistic I suppose.
I think the fact that they --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: I need to interrupt there because we need to go to Ottawa immediately where the conference is taking place.
You're seeing Justin Trudeau and President Zelenskyy signing various agreements and various -- particularly in relation to the aid that Canada
has said it is going to provide, the extra 500 million US dollars of aid it is going to provide to Ukraine, and now we're just waiting for them to hold
the news conference.
The questions here I think are going to be -- I mean, assuming the Canadian press don't derail it off into issues of India for the Canadian prime
minister, but I would imagine that the core of it is how they are keeping the alliance together, and how they are avoiding what it is, in terms of
Shaking hands now, and I expect the two leaders to go to the podium, which has been waiting for them. They will take --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: . and Mr. John M. Beck, chairman of the Aecon Group Incorporated, to take their seats at the signing table.
(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)
QUEST: So these are associated agreements that the two sides have put together. It also involves various companies that are going to make a
series of investments, so you actually get the directors-general of the various organizations who have to do the deals, watched elegantly and over
watched by the political leaders.
The core of the whole thing of what we're watching now is this building of a relationship that is going to be tested sorely over the days, weeks, and
months ahead. as indeed it is for President Zelenskyy in all of his various talks, whether it be the United States, the UK, or wherever.
Interesting today, of course, Poland has been rowing back somewhat, with the Polish president basically saying that this Grain Deal, that is the
great export problem that they've got with Ukraine can be solved, and reading between the lines, there's now a new seriousness coming from
Poland, that whatever disagreements they have, must not be allowed to get in the way of the very crucial issues that Russia could take succor for
So the two leaders are ready, I believe to meet the press, if you will. The DGs have signed their various documents and head off -- oh, no, there's
always another picture to be taken, just in case you haven't got one for the album.
Signing is over, time for a press conference.
Neither man seems to be rushing, but there is a message to be put out, and now we're going to hear it.
The prime minister of Canada and the president of Ukraine.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon. Bonjour.
It is Canada's great honor to have President Zelenskyy visit us here today. Thank you for coming, Volodymyr.
We stand here absolutely united in our defense of democracy, and our condemnation of Vladimir Putin's unprovoked, unjustified, and
unconscionable invasion of Ukraine.
(JUSTINE TRUDEAU speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: I discussed in person today with President Zelenskyy during our dinner date and we've also had a Cabinet meeting and discussed military
needs, financial needs and humanitarian needs for Ukraine, today and for the future.
TRUDEAU: At each meeting, Canada was clear as we always are that we will stand with Ukraine, whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.
Today, we are backing up this commitment with further support. We're shifting our approach to provide multi-year assistance ensuring Ukraine has
the predictable support it needs for long term success.
As part of this approach, I'm announcing $650 million in new military assistance over the next three years to supply Ukraine with 50 armored
vehicles including armored medical evacuation vehicles that will be provided by Canadian workers in London Ontario.
We will also contribute pilot and maintenance instructors to the joint coalition F-16, as well as support for Leopard 2 tank maintenance.
(JUSTIN TRUDEAU speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: We will also provide Ukraine with 35 drones equipped with high resolution cameras and support services as well as weapons and ammunition
based on NATA standards.
Earlier this week, Minister Blair vow that Canada will provide financial contribution to the consortium led by the United Kingdom to deliver
defense, air defense equipment to Ukraine.
TRUDEAU: Ukraine's resilience to date has been remarkable. Their economy continues to need support so that it can withstand this invasion, so that
its government has the resources it needs to continue to provide services to its people so that it has the long term certainty to plan and coordinate
assistance effectively, and so that when Ukraine is victorious, it will continue to be a strong and prosperous country.
That is why I am today confirming that we will again provide substantial macroeconomic support to Ukraine in the 2024 fiscal year.
(JUSTIN TRUDEAU speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: We have a signed a commitment to support the economic development in Ukraine that provides Canadian companies privileged access
that will create jobs.
And later today, we will head to Toronto with Volodymyr to meet with leaders in the business world. We will discuss how the private businesses
will support efforts by Ukraine and already participate in rebuilding the country.
TRUDEAU: Meanwhile, we're continuing to impose costs on Russia and ensuring that those responsible for this illegal unjustifiable invasion do not
benefit from it.
First, Canada and Ukraine have agreed to engage with G7 partners to establish a working group of imminent persons who will provide advice on
the seizure and forfeiture of Russian assets, including of the Russian Central Bank.
Second, we're adding another 63 Russian individuals and entities to our sanctions list, including those complicit in the kidnapping of children and
the spreading of disinformation.
(JUSTIN TRUDEAU speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: All of Ukrainian society needs support, the support civil society we will assist -- we will assist local NGOs as with the Ukrainian
Parliament in improving its cyber resilience to assist communities and also supporting the rebuilding of local infrastructure and helping farmers who
have been disturbed by Putin's actions.
TRUDEAU: To preserve the memory of victims of Holodomor, Canada is prepared to contribute to the Holodomor Museum in Ukraine once appropriate
arrangements are in place. To help all affected Ukrainians, we are providing funding to make mental health support more available because the
toll this is taking on the wellbeing of citizens even though he's not on the frontlines can never be understated.
(JUSTIN TRUDEAU speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: Of course, it will only be possible to rebuild if peace is reestablished and that the sitting Parliament today, and as I said, at the
UN Security Council this week, this peace must not be evolved peace, based on compromises that reward the aggressor. We must have lasting peace,
respecting the UN Charter, respecting international law to restore territorial integrity to Ukraine.
TRUDEAU: It was powerful to hear President Zelenskyy speak to Parliamentarians today, and this evening, he will again speak this time
directly to Canadians including Ukrainian-Canadians in an event in Toronto, over 1.4 million Canadians have Ukrainian roots.
This war has made all of us, as Canadians connected to Ukraine. This country has seen an incredible outpouring of support that is unique in the
way that it comes from all corners of society, from the diaspora, different orders of government, different charities from across the Canadian public,
because your fight is our fight.
These new announcements we have made build on nearly nine billion dollars of support since the full scale invasion began, build on years support
through initiatives like Operation Unifier that has trained up tens of thousands of Ukrainian fighters and enlisted nearly 2,700 ready to be
sanctioned since Putin illegally occupied Crimea in 2020.
And at the support of Ukraine is unequivocal and almost (INAUDIBLE) and Vladimir, I have to say that the steadfastness and the strength of your
leadership, there's a passion of how you have inspired not just Ukrainians, not just (INAUDIBLE) but people all around look what they can do to
concretely to continue to stand up for what is right, continue to stand up for our values is an inspiration to us all including (INAUDIBLE)
So, thank you very much and we continue to stand with you. Thank you all.
VOLODYMR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): I thank you, Justine. My dear friend, Prime Minister, fellow, guests, members of
government, Canadians, journalists. Today, together with my first lady of Ukraine, together with my team have arrived to Canada in order to
personally say thank you for all the support provided to the Ukrainians. Times of war in different other times, the people of Ukraine are receiving
all the respect from the Canadians only they desire to help and lead the trust.
So, please note that we are greatly appreciating this support in Ukraine and shall always remember that. And when we will gain the victory and we
will be victorious, you have to know this is going to be our common victory with the Canada with all the partners with all the friends, with the whole
free world. That is free because there's nations that are protecting the freedom and live with dedication.
It was an honor for me to address the Parliament of Canada. I thank you. This is already my second statement but today it was flying like face to
face. And it's -- we are very grateful that all the parties, all the parliament are supporting us. We had also a very fruitful meeting with the
general governor of Canada and surely, we have very fruitful negotiations. We're just very grateful to you.
And Prime Minister together with (INAUDIBLE) is a strong team has been always supporting us and assisting us. We have a very good agreement or a
defensive cooperation since the start of the full-scale aggression was very effective. Canada has provided assistance for over eight billion Canadian
dollars. Those house, those armored vehicles, ammunition, firearms. Canada has trained over 47 of Ukrainian soldiers under the framework of the
I'd like to specially outlined Canadian leadership in the humanitarian demining. This is very important for Ukrainians because around third part
of the territory of Ukraine are contaminated with the unexploded ordnance. These are the leftovers of the Russian shelling. This is an enormous amount
of work to do in order to clean our territory from the demands but I'm confident that together with the Canadian support we shall be implementing
and fulfilling those tasks.
We highly appreciate the decision of the Canada to join the training program for the F-16 pilots. Thank you, Justin. We have discussed in a
detailed manner on the air defense. I express gratitude for the procurement of additional missiles for our defense system. This is a very timely
decision, as a lot of missiles and Iranian drones are being used again our civilian infrastructure, against our people.
Today we have received the new package of defense support. This was already mentioned by Justin. The armored vehicles, those armored medical evacuation
vehicles. This is something that we highly need for wounded heroes. We have discussed our cooperation in the field of military industry and the
(INAUDIBLE) production of the weapon. We were expecting for the participation of the Ukrainian companies in the first forum of defense
industries that will be held in Ukraine very soon.
Then we reinforced our economic cooperation. We have signed the -- we updated free trade agreement, this will serve as the foundation for the
innovation. Canada is one of our largest donors. I'm very grateful for the decision to continue with the support to Ukraine. What's important is that
the Canada is ready and continuous with the first -- with further sanctions path through against the aggressor so that the aggressor would not be able
to find the aggression.
Then we have discussed different aspects of the peace formula that includes justice and the accountability for the damages caused by the Russia to
Ukraine. And the result of this aggression. I'm grateful to Canada for supporting work on the organization of the Global Peace Formula Summit. And
I'm very grateful for the leadership to work on the security guarantees for Ukraine until the joining with NATO.
Our teams are working on it. Bilateral documents of security guarantees. One other very important thing, the Ukrainian community in Canada. I'm very
grateful to all of its members. I'm very grateful that the Ukrainians in Canada, Ukrainian culture in Canada as -- are always at the same level
together with other cultures and other languages of other minorities. The equality and respect to the other communities is an important
characteristic of your country.
This will always stay like that. I'm very grateful. Let us have the victory as soon as possible. Let us have our common victory --
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: There you are. You heard both leaders. And an interesting translation issue, of course, with Canada
having to two official languages French and English. So, the Prime Minister effortlessly going between the two. And the President deciding to stay in
English but a very, very strong support coming from Justin Trudeau and from Canada. Well received, gratefully received.
And the message from Zelenskyy, thank you, we'll need more about we're moving forward together. It's a moment for us to take a break. We will do
so after this.
QUEST: The raft of issues that are worrying CEOs and top executives just gets ever longer. Of course, you've got the labor problems and the strikes
taking place in the United States. You've also got a potential government shutdown in just over a week waiting in the wings in the United States. And
a year of destructive climate disasters which present challenges are sent especially as we head towards COP 28.
And then add to that, the war in Ukraine which does look like it will rumble into -- God help us, into a second winter. BCGs global chair Rich
Lesser is with me in New York. First of all, thank you, sir, for standing by. Obviously, we wanted to hear the Prime Minister and the President. But
I'm grateful that you're able to wait in turn. The issue -- I just want to start with this bit. This idea, this uncertainty that exists.
We got through last winter with all its problems in Europe of gas and oil. And this year should be better on the reliance. But there's no doubt the
level of uncertainty because of geopolitics is vast.
RICH LESSER, GLOBAL CHAIR, BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP: Yes. Well, first, it's a pleasure to be with you, Richard. And -- but you're completely right.
We're living in a world of very high uncertainty. And it puts a real premium on resilience. Resilience in energy systems. Resilience
economically -- on many dimensions. And I think when we talk about climate, you get to the same questions.
Right now, we have to do so much work on adaptation and resilience for a changing planet. So, I I think you're completely right about the
uncertainties and how challenging that makes it for everyone, including business leaders.
QUEST: Right. But do you see this uptick, this quite dramatic uptick, very specific in labor disputes as emblematic of something wider? These are the
touchstones, if you will. I mean, both of them are using different strategies. But they do suggest that something is not right.
LESSER: But I think we've gone through a very disrupted period in this country. The COVID shutdowns, a bout of inflation, and enormous amount of
uncertainty, not just at the macro level but in people's lives. And I think that plays through and how people are feeling. And we're seeing that in a
number of ways, probably including the labor situation that we're feeling right now. And I do think that, you know, we have seen us moving in the
direction of a "soft landing economically."
But as I recently wrote to CEOs, it's can come with hard challenges. And I think this situation in labor is one of them right now.
QUEST: And to your point, the soft landing on the macro level can be very hard to some of them who are on the harder end of it who've lost a job or
haven't got a contract or have seen that benefits. And that's now the concern, the big issue seems to be, you know, the, the bosses did well,
it's our turn now. Is that fair?
LESSER: I don't know if it's fair, but it certainly feels a big part of the narrative right now. And look, how we get beyond all of the uncertainty,
stresses division and anger we've been feeling is no small challenge for this country. And it's not just in the U.S. It's in many places around the
world that these tensions have built. And then you compound it, you know, we've been at the U.N. and in so many meetings on climate and
I mean, those challenges don't go away. And they may not feel as immediate but they are certainly fundamental. We have to tackle those while we handle
the short-term pressures that you're so accurately describing.
QUEST: So, the one thing on climate that came out I think listening from the UNGA this week and looking at to COP in December. It's in the detail.
Everybody can see standard that podium in the -- in the General Assembly and pontificate in generalities about the significance.
But what you know is that it's about targets. It's about the funding for this. And if there's no shortage of funding, it's about for the monitoring
of success to prevent greenwashing.
LESSER: So, you know, if I were to characterize this week, we led 30 sessions, we're involved in over 100. So, we've been really deep into it.
The three words that for me capture this week are conviction, collaboration and caution. Conviction -- I mean, the number of people that come now, the
intensity of the discussions about how to drive real action, whether it's in food and agriculture or heavy industry, or in, you know, energy systems
and so forth. I mean, it's deep.
There's a big recognition that, yes, you need to make your own commitments. But the way to make progress is when we collaborate together across value
chains between the public and private sector. But also, as you correctly put it, it's about caution. This is really hard as people get into it.
People that signed up for targets are realizing in many cases, they're difficult. They worry about being attacked from the far left and the far
And so, I do think that while people have enormous conviction and there is much more of a sense of collaboration, there's also a tempered caution
about just how hard this is going to be in the years ahead.
QUEST: One final question occurs to me. You've looked at this in so much detail, but on climate change, do you -- do you think -- which works better
the carrot or the stick?
LESSER: I think we need some of both. I think when it comes to investing in new technologies, or helping consumers like to move to electric vehicles,
we absolutely need carrots of the kind that's in IRA. But I think in to help decarbonize value chains, like in steel, or cement, or all the things
that we need to do in our economy, it would help -- if we could mobilize more towards some form doesn't have to be attacks, but some form of a price
on carbon and some regulatory elements that are not so burdensome, but encourage people to take the right actions.
And so, I think you see Europe taking much more of a stick approach. You see the U.S. taking much more of a carrot approach. There's probably
learning from both that would help us push things forward.
QUEST: Have an excellent weekend, sir. I'm grateful for your time. Thank you.
LESSER: It was a pleasure, Richard.
QUEST: Some leaders in aviation don't think the industry is net-zero ambitions are realistic. Delta Airlines says it'll get there by 2050. Its
chief sustainability officer will join me after the break.
QUEST: We're just talking Rich Lesser about sustainability and climate change. Well, industry as many of them facing ambitious emissions targets
that some say don't matter in reality. Aviation is one of them. Now, you remember in June, I spoke to Qatar Airways' chief executive at the IATA
conference, Akbar Al Baker. Then he said, airlines are decades away from meeting their climate goals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AKBAR AL BAKER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, QATAR AIRWAYS: He was, I think, that have been very frank, that we will not be able to achieve the target.
SAF, the volumes you need will not be available. And coincidentally and the Qatar Economic Forum, the boss of Boeing did say that anything will not
happen until after the middle of the current century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, Delta has announced the roadmap to net-zero by 2050. You're seeing Amelia DeLuca. Amelia, thank you. You are Delta Airlines Chief
Sustainability Officer. The reality is and I'm -- we're talking the big stuff here now. The fuel on the aircraft, the actual, you know, not the
recycling of cups and things like that, which is important, but it's the big stuff. You can't get enough SAF. It's simply not going to be able to
make it in the quantities necessary in the timescale allowed.
AMELIA DELUCA, CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER, DELTA AIRLINES: Well, Richard, thanks so much for having me here today. I am just back from four days in
New York with climate week and very inspired by some of the conversations I had. And many of the themes from the week connect directly to that question
which is how are we going to scale sustainable aviation fuel which is the single most important lever as we talk about the airline industry advancing
And I think the themes from the week that resonated with me are commitment into action, moving local solutions and scaling them into global solutions.
Taking, you know, what many talks about as a business imperative and building it into the business. And so, at Delta, we're hard underway with
all of those themes. And they all connect back to the question which is, can we do it? And I think the proof is in the data at this point.
So, Delta is doing what it can within its control. You, you know, you talked about single-used plastics and that's clearly important from a
consumer viewpoint. But more importantly, behind the scenes we're committed through our cross divisional carbon council to save 10 million gallons of
jet fuel every year through our own initiatives, through how we operate. Through lightweight in the aircraft.
And then simultaneously, every year, we're taking more delivery of SAF. And you're correct, we are a long ways away from this -- the SAF that is needed
to get to net-zero. But we're starting to realize that, you know, we've done everything right to date when it comes to SAF. We've got, you know,
we've got the demand signals there through offtake agreements. There's investments and these startups and most recently, Delta announced a new SAF
hub in Minnesota which is bringing big name players that represent the value chain.
And we think that's the next meaningful step forward when it comes to sustainable aviation fuel is for every company that's behind SAF and
frankly, every company is behind SAF because they need it for their own corporate travel. But for those players to come together and say, what is
it going to take when there's optimal conditions when we have the right incentives? But when we also have the right access to both downstream and
QUEST: Delta, of course, legendary when you did that -- when you bought the oil refinery because that was -- because that was the right policy at that
moment for what you needed. So, are you looking at some grand plan like that when it comes to SAF? I see the various investments that you're
making. But again, one's always waiting for the big one.
DELUCA: Well, certainly. And I think, you know, the refinery is a great example. Delta has a great partner through our refinery to be able to say,
tell us what you know about what it would take to convert a refinery. And it's certainly challenging. That's for sure. We've heard other major oil
and gas companies talk about the challenges of bringing sustainable aviation fuel to market in a profitable way.
But I think simultaneously the learnings from the refinery is that, you know, we can't just wait for the product to show up or hope that it shows
up or let the volatility potentially of the cost, just show up that we need to work as far throughout that value chain as possible. Delta is a great
loved brand and we have incredible assets through our people. And so, we believe that that same power that we brought through buying that refinery
and helping change the landscape of jet fuel for ourselves can be replicated in the sustained aviation fuel market.
QUEST: That's what I was -- I was suggesting. Finally, two to three percent, I mean, on any given day. That's what the emissions from -- CO2
emissions from aviation are. That's an accepted number.
It's a relatively small number bearing in mind that the industry is growing at the same time. So, you know, staying at two to three percent is no mean
achievement. I wonder whether the industry, not necessarily Delta, but the industry is losing the pill bottle. And that message isn't across properly?
DELUCA: Well, I, you know, I will say similarly, I think that was the theme of climate week right now that, you know, across the private sector, we
need to be telling our stories better about what we're doing today to instill that confidence in our consumer bases that, you know, for an
industry like the airline industry which is hard to decarbonize. It's going to take a little while, but that we are an industry that has a plan.
And every year, we're going to make progress against that plan. And we're going to route ourselves in transparency as well as data to try to show
where -- are today, the progress that we're making. And we fully believe it's an industry in progress over perfection. We have to get started now.
We can't wait to 2050. And so, I truly believe that the industry has a pathway forward because of those things.
QUEST: And we will talk more, many more times about it. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a lovely weekend. Thank you very much.
DELUCA: Thank you.
QUEST: We will take a profitable moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. One can't help but be impressed by President Zelenskyy's sheer stamina as he goes around the world, reminding
people of the aggression against his country. Well, what has impressed me most this week is the way in which leaders have done their best to put
aside the various spots. Whether it's over grain and grain bands. Even in Poland, the Polish president clarifying with the Prime Minister's comments
that they wouldn't transfer weaponry to Ukraine.
Say no, no, that's just new weaponry, not all weaponry. Because at the end of the day, we are exactly where everybody said we would be, which is war
fatigue has arrived. People are questioning why are we spending so much money. Sending so many resources when there are needs at home. And leaders
like Biden, like President Macron, like the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, were well aware this was going to happen, and yet they have remained
steadfast as you've seen from Canada's Justin Trudeau today.
The testing is not over. It will continue through what will be a dark, hopefully not too bleak winter. But from the messy Just this week, it's
stay the course.
Keep calm if you will and carry on. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours
ahead. I hope it is profitable. We will be in London next week. Join me then.