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Hala Gorani Tonight
Thousands Of Polish Forces Hold Migrants At Border; Lithuania Declares A State Of Emergency Over Border; COP26 Draft Agreement Released; Prince Harry Warned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey About Capitol Riot; Europe Only Region With Rising Cases And Deaths; Call To Earth Day; EarthEcho Aims To Empower Youth To Restore Ocean Planet. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 10, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Fifteen thousand Polish forces are
blocking migrants at the border with Belarus as the two countries trade heated words. And Lithuania is also mobilizing troops and declaring a state
of emergency. I'll speak to a top presidential adviser.
Then, a draft agreement disappoints. We'll explain what COP26 may have achieved and how leaders like Boris Johnson are reacting. Well, it is
escalating the situation with the migrants on the border between Belarus and Poland. Russian planes flew over Belarus today in a clear warning to
the west over that migrant standoff at the border. Two nuclear-capable bombers similar to these flew across Belarusian airspace.
Russia says it was testing Belarus' defenses, but the message was clear. Poland says as many as 600 migrants attempted to breach the barbed wire
barricades at the border overnight, and thousands more remain marooned on the Belarusian side in dire conditions. EU ambassadors and Polish officials
met today accusing Belarus of human trafficking. They say the regime has created this crisis on purpose as revenge for western human rights
sanctions. Now, they're preparing more sanctions and Poland's prime minister was blunt in his assessment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI, PRIME MINISTER, POLAND (through translator): Now, from distance, those events on the Polish-Belarusian border may look like a
migration crisis, but this is not a migration crisis, it's a political crisis and caused for a specific purpose for the purpose of destabilizing
the situation in the EU. So, what we're facing here, and we have to state it clearly, is a manifestation of state terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That is the view from Poland. Belarus is denying that it's manufactured the crisis and accuses the EU of a large-scale complex
aggression. And Russia says the EU is trying to strangle Belarus and denies that it has encouraged or abetted the standoff. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is
closely monitoring this political brawl and the desperate conditions on the border from Berlin. Fred?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Hala. Well, the situation there at the border between Poland and Belarus, it
certainly remains extremely tense, and of course, the people who are stranded there in a very dire situation. At the same time, I would say that
it's a little bit more calm today than it was yesterday. However, that standoff between Poland and Belarus, of course, between the EU and Belarus,
that certainly is something that does seem to be escalating.
There's a lot of criticism of the EU and Poland coming from the Belarusian regime from Alexander Lukashenko, but then you also have the Polish side
saying today in the forum of the Polish prime minister as he met with the head of the EU Council, he called this not a migrant crisis, but a
political crisis. And he also said that the border of Poland was being brutally violated by Belarus.
Of course, the European Union has said that they believe that Alexander Lukashenko is artificially manufacturing the situation that happened there,
that he is luring people to Belarus with false promises in retaliation for sanctions that have been levied on Alexander Lukashenko and his
surroundings by the European Union.
Now, all of this, of course, seems like it's not going to go away any time soon. That camp that, of course, was set up over the past couple of days,
that is still very much out there, and certainly does seem to be expanding. The Polish government has said that on Tuesday alone, there were hundreds
of attempts to try and get across the border. There were a lot of people who were stopped from getting across that border. So certainly, that
situation does remain extremely tense.
And at the same time, of course, it gets worse by the day because what you have there is the Winter really setting in, sub-zero temperatures there
especially during the night.
And of course, a lot of the people who are stranded out there are women and children and generally families who are of course, extremely desperate in
that situation right now, Hala.
GORANI: All right, thanks very much, Fred Pleitgen for that. To the northeast, Lithuania has also been grappling with a similar situation on
its border with Belarus. It has declared a state of emergency in the region, beefing up security forces and giving border guards a lot more
power to prevent migrants from crossing.
The new alert went into effect at midnight. Like Poland and Latvia to the north, Lithuania has seen thousands of migrants attempt to cross from
Belarus in the past few months. Asta Skaisgiryte is the chief adviser to Lithuania's president and she joins me now from the capital Vilnius.
Thanks for being with us. First of all, how do you react to Ursula von der Leyen saying that she's calling for increased sanctions against Belarus
with even talk of sanctioning airlines accused of flying migrants to Minsk in order to have them bussed to the border regions?
ASTA SKAISGIRYTE, CHIEF ADVISER TO LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT: What Lithuania and the neighboring countries of Poland and Latvia are facing now is a hybrid
attack. Unfortunately, the Lukashenko regime used human beings as illegal migrants to the European Union. People are being smuggled and cheated.
They're being told that some holiday is awaiting for them in Belarus. People pay $6,000 or $7,000 for that so-called holiday, and then they're
promised that they will have an opportunity to go to the European Union.
No, it's false. They have to understand that this is not the way they can be smuggled into the European Union. And then they're caught in Belarus
without the human conditions that are being dignified enough. So, what we have to do indeed is to make all international effort for these people to
return to their countries and to help them to do that. In order to do that --
GORANI: Right --
SKAISGIRYTE: We have to invoke United Nations and European Union institutions to deal with the Lukashenko regime. The Lukashenko regime has
to be accountable.
GORANI: Right, but what about these -- your reaction to what Ursula von der Leyen discussed today which is an increased sanctions against Belarus? Is
it enough? Do you think this will do the job that you would like for it to achieve, which is to have Belarus drive these people back to Minsk and then
put them on flights, I assume that's what you want, put them on flights back to the countries that they originally came from? Do you think it's
SKAISGIRYTE: The European Union has sanctioned already Lukashenko's regime. It will be already the fifth sanction package that will be facing due to
illegal migration and smuggling of people.
GORANI: OK --
SKAISGIRYTE: So it is part of the picture, but it's not all. Of course, another part is that we have to make all possible efforts to take these
illegal migrants back home to their origin countries.
GORANI: OK, but what if some of these migrants -- I mean, some of them are Syrian, others are Iraqi, some are Afghans. How do you get them back to
their countries? Some have legitimate asylum claims. Why not process those who you believe might be legitimate asylum seekers rather than just invoke
a state of emergency that allows border guards to use very increased powers to repel them from the border?
SKAISGIRYTE: Yes, indeed, they all have the possibility to submit the asylum demands legitimately. So they can do it, for example, in our embassy
in Minsk. Unfortunately, they don't do that. The Lukashenko regime uses them as a weapon to punish the western countries, not our three countries,
but all the western countries because of the sanctions and because of the human right abuses that the regime is taking for already more than one
GORANI: And some of the human rights groups observing this very tragic situation, because as you've seen from the footage, these migrants aren't
all young men. Some of them are women, some of them are small children. They criticized the state of emergency that your country has declared
because it criminalizes, for instance, people who would drive to the border area to help migrants with food and water. How do you respond to that
criticism? They're not supporting what Belarus is doing, but they're saying the reaction of Poland and Lithuania is too harsh.
SKAISGIRYTE: Unfortunately, these migrants are on Belarusian side. They're in Belarusian territory. And it is impossible for us to reach them. So, of
course, the Belarusian authorities have to take care of them, at least on the humanitarian level, to provide them with food, water and some warm
clothes because the Winter is approaching and the temperatures are pretty low.
GORANI: All right, so a quick question. You've heard the Polish prime minister blaming turkey for colluding with Belarus, saying turkey is flying
migrants to Minsk, even mentioning the national airline by name. Do you also point a finger of blame at turkey for helping Belarus put pressure on
EU's borders -- the EU's borders?
SKAISGIRYTE: We would not like to put fingers at any NATO ally, but the responsible country is Belarus itself, which organizes all this illegal
migration. So we have to make it clear that Lukashenko regime is responsible for what is happening now. And of course, it's being helped by
some private companies, airlines, private airlines, which might be helping. But, again, the problem is the Lukashenko regime, and we have to be very
clear about it.
GORANI: All right, so no finger of blame at turkey directly. Asta Skaisgiryte, thank you very much, she is the chief adviser to the
Lithuanian president. Just a short time ago, the U.S. and China announced a new agreement at the COP26 Summit to cooperate and step up their climate
ambitions. We're waiting on more details from that and we'll bring you those as we get them.
Meanwhile, we're getting a look at the summit's draft agreement. It sets a goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial
levels, that's a firmer standard than the 2015 Paris Accord which set a 2 degree goal. The Glasgow draft takes another step forward from previous
agreements by urging countries to quickly phase out fossil fuels even though it does not set a concrete deadline.
Still, this draft is far from the final product. Delegates will negotiate for the next few days and there's a lot that could change or get cut. Phil
Black is in Glasgow for us with more on what to expect. Phil?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, this draft goes someway to really try and strengthen the language, particularly around that key temperature goal
that you touched on there, 1.5 degrees of average temperature increase over the coming -- by the end of the century. It does go further than the Paris
Agreement, or at least tries to make an argument that goes beyond that of the Paris Agreement by referencing science. The science that says beyond
the threshold of 1.5 degrees, the situation and the impacts get a lot worse very quickly.
It also references the science that says in order to achieve 1.5, that it means this is a critical decade where emissions cuts have to reach about 45
percent by 2030 in order for that goal still to remain achievable. Now, crucially, we know that the individual commitments made by countries here
are nowhere near sufficient. Indeed, the draft also says that instead of roughly halving emissions this decade, we're going to be increasing by
around 13 percent come 2030.
It also does lay out a path forward beyond COP26. And this is perhaps the most important language in the entire draft in order to ensure the
continuation of this process. This is where it says parties must revisit their commitments and ramp them up by the end of next year. This is where
it suggests that ministers get together and talk about their pre-2030 ambitions by the end of next year, and it talks about a meeting of world
leaders on this very subject by or within 2023.
Now, there are -- as you say, this is just the draft. There will be a lot of pressure on some of this language over the next couple of days. Sections
could be strengthened, sections could certainly be weakened. And we've heard from experts and analysts close to the talks that in particular,
these instructions for revisiting targets within the next year, that they are not popular with some countries.
So, we will see if it does survive into the final text because the reality is, if that language does not appear in the final text, then there is a
view here that all of this has been for nothing as it does essentially mean within the time frame available, with the ambition that is necessary
achieving 1.5 degrees Celsius of average global warming, that, that goal simply slips away and will no longer be achievable, Hala.
GORANI: All right -- wait, what's happening behind you? It sounds like there are some sort of performance?
BLACK: Yes, you've caught me at a bad time. This is musical performance of some kind in line with an award ceremony. Of more importance, at the same
time, I believe John Kerry; the U.S. Climate envoy is also speaking --
GORANI: Yes --
BLACK: Elsewhere at the conference. Just quickly, this is because China and the U.S. have just agreed to work more closely together on climate issues
in the coming decade, hopefully, putting aside their differences on other geopolitical issues which have been hanging over this conference like
something of a shadow and believed to be hampering the progress that has been made here. So, this is one small potentially significant positive
development that's going on right now as we speak, Hala.
GORANI: All right, and we'll monitor that talk between Kerry and his Chinese counterpart. Thanks so much. We are hearing now about new alleged
atrocities in Ethiopia. An Amnesty International report accuses Tigray People's Liberation Front, the rebel fighters of gang rapping women from a
different ethnic group. Amnesty interviewed women from a town in the Amhara region who say the violence took place in mid-August.
According to that Amnesty report, survivors described being raped at gun point, robbed and subjected to physical and verbal assaults by TPL
fighters, who also destroyed and looted medical facilities in the town. A Tigray spokesman denies this and is calling for an independent
The U.N. says both sides in Ethiopia's year-long civil war have committed human rights abuses. Authorities in Addis have been detaining hundreds of
people under their state of emergency there. Many ethnic Tigrayans have been rounded up in mass arrests, and some 70 United Nations staff as well.
Still to come, the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is in France on a charm offensive. Will her visit patch things up between the allies? That's
coming up next. We're live in Paris after this.
GORANI: The American vice president has just left the Elysee Palace after meeting with the French President. Kamala Harris is trying to mend
relations with America's oldest ally. You'll remember that diplomatic crisis that started after a U.S.-Britain-Australia security deal cost
France a multi-billion dollar submarine contract. But today, it's all about positivity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have discussed the fact that, indeed, I do believe, and I think we share this belief that we
are at the beginning of a new era which presents us with many challenges, but also many opportunities.
And when the United States and France have worked together on challenges and opportunities, we have always found great success because of shared
values and shared priorities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond is traveling with the vice president. So, that's a bit of diplo speak, we hear
that a lot from world leaders obviously. But concretely, what message did Kamala Harris have for the French president who was so upset about that
U.K.-Australia-U.S. submarine deal?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no doubt about it, Hala. There were a lot of niceties between these two leaders, the French
president making very clear that he was extremely grateful for the vice president for coming to Paris, not just for this meeting, but for a five-
day trip which shows the extent to which the United States is really trying to make amends here with France.
We heard the vice president talking about closer cooperation in a few different areas, notably, she talked about closer cooperation on space
issues, on climate change as well as on cyber space. We are still waiting to hear from the vice president's office what the specific deliverables and
the specific agreements are between the United States and France.
But there's no question that we have not yet heard of any deliverable here that would be of the kind of consequence that would make the French fully
satisfied with the U.S.' efforts to make amends. And speaking with French officials in the days before this trip, one thing that they made very clear
is that while they appreciated the kind of rhetoric that they have heard from President Biden and his administration so far in terms of wanting to
increase cooperation, in terms of talking about the importance of strengthening European defenses, a key priority for the French president.
They are still waiting to see some of the kind of more concrete actions to match some of that rhetoric. And it is not clear whether that will come
during this visit, specifically on the defense front which is, again, the French president's priority. And it's very clear that Macron is going to
try and squeeze every ounce of juice that he can out of this submarine affair, but ultimately, what this trip is, is really a gesture in many
You are seeing the vice president not only spending five days here, but also meeting with the French president, attending his peace forum which he
launched three years ago, becoming the highest-ranking American official to do so, and also attending this conference on Libya which is being hosted by
the French president. So, we will see how -- to what extent there are deliverables from this trip, but certainly it is part of -- a continuation
of this effort by the Americans to try and get that relationship fully back on track. Hala.
GORANI: All right, Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much, live in Paris. Israeli-American diplomacy faces a new test that could reshape Israel's
relationship with the Biden administration. The U.S. wants to reopen a consulate that was shuttered by the former President Trump. Israel strongly
opposes the idea. From Jerusalem, Hadas Gold explains why?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When then-President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2018, what had been the
consulate serving Palestinians was shut down.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We took Jerusalem off the table so we don't have to talk about it anymore. They never got past
Jerusalem. We took it off the table. We don't have to talk about it anymore.
GOLD: But with President Joe Biden, Jerusalem is very much back on the table as the administration seeks to reopen the consulate. As Secretary of
State Antony Blinken said in May --
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: The United States will be moving forward with the process to reopen our consulate in Jerusalem.
GOLD: And repeated in October.
BLINKEN: We'll be moving forward with the process of opening a consulate as part of deepening those ties with the Palestinians.
GOLD: In view, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has worked to create a smooth and drama-free relationship with the Americans, but was blunt when
asked by CNN whether he was heading toward a conflict over the consulate and other issues.
NAFTALI BENNETT, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: No, our position is and it was presented very clearly and openly to our American friends that there is no
room for another American consulate in Jerusalem.
GOLD: The historic building that housed the consulate was folded into the broader American Embassy when it officially moved to Jerusalem from Tel
(on camera): Many Palestinians want to see the sign on this building switched back because an American consulate in Jerusalem is seen as a
precursor to what they hope will one day be an American Embassy in east Jerusalem, capital of a potential future state of Palestine.
(voice-over): The Israeli intransigents on the issue even suggesting the Americans open the consulate instead in Ramallah, seen as a direct
challenge to the Americans.
MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRIME MINISTER: By all means, Ramallah is not Jerusalem and Ramallah is not the capital of Palestine, in
the same way that Abu Dis is not. And therefore for us, the consulate in east Jerusalem, it has a lot of political significance. We want this
consulate in Jerusalem to be the future American Embassy to the state of Palestine. And, therefore, when we say that we want it to be there, of
course, we want it to be there.
GOLD: A choice then for President Biden, pick a fight with Israel's new government or quietly and in not in so many words accept what Trump said,
that for the U.S., at least, Jerusalem is most definitely off the table. Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, Prince Harry says he gave Twitter a warning. Find out what he says he was worried about, coming up. Plus, CNN's first
annual "CALL TO EARTH DAY", we are bringing you with us as we partner with organizations worldwide to help preserve our planet and raise awareness.
We'll have that special coverage coming up later in the program.
GORANI: Ten months after the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol, Prince Harry says he issued a warning to the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about how the
social media platform was being used prior to the day's events. Here is what he said Tuesday during an online event hosted by "Wired Magazine".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY CHARLES ALBERT DAVID, DUKE OF SUSSEX: Jack and I were e-mailing each other prior to January the 6th where I warned him that his platform was
allowing a coup to be staged. That e-mail was sent the day before, and then it happened and I haven't heard from him since.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: CNN correspondent Donie O'Sullivan is covering this story for us today and he joins me now from New York. So, this is remarkable. Prince
Harry says he was basically monitoring Twitter traffic and got the sense that some sort of coup was being organized, warned Dorsey, sent him an e-
mail the day before.
so presumably he has that email and that he hasn't heard from the Twitter CEO since.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. It is quite remarkable, indeed, a British prince warning of an attack on the American
Look, as you mentioned, there is an email, he said there is an email, so this one will be easy to prove if he chooses to. We're noting that Twitter
and Jack Dorsey have not commented on this. They haven't disputed what Prince Harry is saying here.
Some people have treated this with a bit of skepticism. But just to put it in the context of what Prince Harry is doing at the moment, he works -- he
is part of a misinformation commission by the Aspen Institute, which is a think tank here in the United States.
So he is engaged on this issue. And look, while many people were extremely surprised and obviously shocked by what happened here in the U.S. on
January 6th, a lot of people certainly saw the environment for that event to occur coming in the weeks and months leading up to the insurrection
here, in that there was so much misinformation online.
There were academics and researchers that I have spoken to since, who said they saw something bad coming. They didn't think it might be as bad as an
attack on the U.S. Capitol but they saw something coming. And that is perhaps maybe what Prince Harry was getting at.
GORANI: We haven't seen the email, have we?
O'SULLIVAN: No, we have not. No, we have not. I would love to see it.
GORANI: Oh, well, so would i. So I. Thanks very much for that.
Still to come tonight, a worrying start to winter in Europe as it becomes the only region to record rising COVID cases and deaths. More after the
GORANI: Europe and the U.S. have finally reconnected this week for travelers. But they're moving in different directions when it comes to
COVID. U.S. cases, along with most other regions around the world, are leveling off. But when it comes to Europe, as you can see, cases are rising
and pretty fast. Scott McLean has more -- Scott.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, a new report from the WHO shows that, while COVID in most parts of the world is stable or declining, it is
a much different picture in Europe, as case counts in many European countries continue to rise.
Germany saw record high case counts this week and France has seen the number of daily new cases roughly double over the past four weeks.
MCLEAN: French president Emmanuel Macron announced that indoor mask mandates and the controversial health pass system will not be abandoned
anytime soon. The pass, which shows proof of vaccination or a negative test, is required to get into cafes, restaurants and public transit.
Next month people over 65 will also need to show they've had a third booster shot in order to keep the COVID pass valid. Since Macron's speech
last night, almost 150,000 people have made an appointment for the booster shot.
Now in absolute terms, France's infection rate is relatively low, because vaccination rates are so high; 87 percent of French people 12 and over have
been fully vaccinated. That is not the case, though, in many Eastern European countries, like Ukraine and Romania, where vaccination rates lag
behind Western Europe and daily death tolls are hitting record highs.
Meanwhile, the German vaccine committee is recommending that people under 30 are only vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine because of concerns
over a very rare but mild heart inflammation with the Moderna vaccine.
France issued similar guidance based on a study that shows that the risk for young people under 30 was five times lower with the Pfizer vaccine --
GORANI: All right. Thanks, Scott.
Now to dramatic testimony in the United States. In Wisconsin, a star witness has taken the stand in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. It
is the teen shooter himself. Rittenhouse is accused of homicide for shooting and killing two people and wounding another person during unrest
Rittenhouse says he wasn't looking for trouble when he attended street protests that erupted after the police killing of an unarmed African
American man. He, in fact, has claimed self-defense. He broke down on the stand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYLE RITTENHOUSE, KENOSHA SHOOTER: I was cornered from -- in front of me with Mr. Ziminski. And there were -- there was people right there.
RICHARDS: Take a deep breath, Kyle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The trial went into recess at that point. It has resumed and a composed Rittenhouse continued his testimony.
Still to come, people who are finding innovative ways to save the planet, we will meet the founders of EarthEcho as CNN marks Call to Earth Day. We
will be right back.
GORANI: Over the past 10 days, CNN has been covering the environmental challenges facing our planet. These issues can sometimes feel overwhelming
but there are solutions. On Call to Earth Day, we are celebrating a planet worth protecting and the people creating a more sustainable future.
Let's take a look now at some of the best moments so far.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's take a look at what is happening at this workshop.
Hey, kids, good morning.
Hi, everybody. So I see a lot of peanut butter in the trays. I wonder what you are making.
Who wants to tell me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're making food for the birds.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a bird feeder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to give students these little experiences where they can make a difference, even if it is as small as feeding the bird in
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is (INAUDIBLE) strong message, you can't say no to plastics, the least you can do is still dispose your waste properly.
Let's not forget, we only have one Earth.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right behind me is a huge banyan tree which was planted in the 1960s on campus. Under that tree, you can see almost a
dozen students with their science teacher from grade 7, Dr. Frazier (ph).
What Dr. Frazier is trying to do is enlighten students about the proximity and the relationship that human beings -- in this case, students -- should
be sharing with nature.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My pledge is to use the three Rs, reduce, reuse, recycle, in order to save our planet from littering (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My pledge is to reuse plastic bottles to save our planet. Also I am going to try to pick up as much litter I can (INAUDIBLE).
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This whole day on CNN is also about, as you said, what can people do to make a difference. And the consumer has a
huge amount of power here. So if the public goes out there and makes choices based on what they feel can have an impact on the environment, they
should do it.
GORANI: Let's take a closer look at an organization in the U.S., participating in this Call to Earth partnership. Athena Jones joins us from
a community center in East Harlem in New York.
What are you seeing, Athena?
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. We are at the Sustainable Fashion Community Center, where they have a fashion show going
on right behind me that is all about promoting sustainable fashion.
So fashion that is about conserving natural resources, about protecting the environment. One way to do that is to recycle your clothing. We know that
the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world.
And so this fashion show is all about recycled clothing. This center, the Sustainable Fashion Community Center, has a swap shop. People donate
clothing. SO they've been donating clothing, about 1,500 pounds or more, since the center opened in May.
The looks we are seeing behind us and the people we're hearing from are talking about ways to support sustainable fashion. And the outfits we are
seeing modeled are outfits that are either remade from clothing that was donated to their swap shop or outfits that have been made from reused
So this is all about the opposite of fast fashion. We know that the clothing industry is one of the world's biggest polluters. We know that
textiles produce more -- textile production produces more greenhouse gas emissions than international flights and maritime -- the maritime industry
We know that, you know, clothing and footwear production is also -- emits a lot of greenhouse emissions. SO the whole goal of today's show and of the
entire event here at the Sustainable Fashion Community Center is to promote anything that involves, you know, reusing clothes.
JONES: Not contributing to the pollution and the harm to the environment that the fashion industry presents.
So that is what we're hearing from and learning from about today. Right now, there's a moment where we're having more speeches than showing
outfits. But we've seen a lot of outfits coming down, that's upcycled fashion, remade fashion, all about recycling and conserving natural
resources -- Hala.
GORANI: We saw a few of the models walking past you, behind you there, as you were speaking to us. Athena, stand by. Stephanie Elam is in California
at a nonprofit near L.A.
What are you seeing where you are, Stephanie?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, we are at Santa Fe Middle School and this is a project that the kids are working on right now. You
can see that they're here painting. They are painting the word "water" in the 110 different languages that are spoken in Los Angeles County.
So you can see they're out here working on this here at this middle school. And the reason why is just today, actually, there was one water district
that covers six different counties in Southern California and they have declared a drought emergency.
It is important for the kids to understand the importance of water and why we need it. I want to introduce you to Claire Robinson. She is the managing
director of Amigos de los Rios. And also because of Emerald Necklace, just tell me why you need the kids to know so much about the water.
CLAIRE ROBINSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AMIGOS DE LOS RIOS/EMERALD NECKLACE PROJECT: We've been advocating and working for the past 20 years to
implement and design in respect to the challenges we face with precious water resources and climate change.
We need a big vision, which encompasses a lot of participation. And students are where it is at.
ROBINSON: So we are trying to create an Emerald Necklace natural infrastructure network from the mountains, the Angeles to the sea, keyed
off the (INAUDIBLE) River.
ELAM: And so that this way the kids understand the importance of it. And I know I'm cutting you off, there's so much you can tell us.
ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
ELAM: But just this idea here that the kids are understanding the importance of their investment in the community and knowing that how
important water is, especially as all of California at this point, Hala, is actually in a drought right now.
GORANI: All right. Stephanie Elam, thanks very much there at that nonprofit in L.A. and Athena Jones in Harlem, in New York, with what looks like a
really fun fashion show going on there. Our thanks very much to both of you.
Now we can speak to two special guests about their planet-saving efforts, specifically related to the oceans and sea. Philippe Cousteau, an explorer
and environmentalist and founder of EarthEcho International is in Los Angeles.
Armon Alex is a member of EarthEcho's Youth Council and an ocean steward and a conservationist. And they both join me now live from Austin, Texas.
You are both in Austin, right?
PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, EXPLORER AND ENVIRONMENTALIST: I am actually in L.A. I think Armon is in Austin right now.
GORANI: Philippe is in L.A.
ARMON ALEX, EARTHECHO INTERNATIONAL: And I'm talking to you from Corpus Christi, Texas.
GORANI: And Armon is in Corpus Christi. OK, I have both of your locations.
Philippe, let me start with you. Talk to us about EarthEcho International because you have been around for a while, since 2005. But for those who
don't know you, what do you do?
COUSTEAU: Sure thing, Hala. So, first of all, it's just nice to see you again and chat with you. It has been a little while. I -- as you mentioned,
EarthEcho has been around since 2005. So 16 years now; it seems like a long time we've been at this. We are a leading global youth environmental
Our focus is how we build a global youth movement to protect our -- what we call our ocean planet, because truly we do live on an ocean planet. And
that was -- a lot of this work is inspired.
You know, I started the organization inspired by my grandfather, Jacques Cousteau. And particularly toward the end of life, he recognized the
importance of focusing on youth and education in order to build a global -- this global movement.
And the social will in order to achieve the kind of political and economic changes that we need. So that's what we've focused on for the last 16 years
and we've reached over 2 million young people around the world in over 140 countries. And it has been an amazing adventure.
GORANI: Armon, how do you reach out to younger people to motivate them to care about the environment and to motivate them also to take action?
And I imagine part of the job that young people have today isn't just raising their own awareness but raising awareness among older generations,
that may not have been as, you know, up to date on some of the issues that the planet is facing and what actions individuals can take to try to help.
ALEX: Yes, thank you so much, Hala. I'm definitely really glad to be here. I am just one of many young people around the world that are really
interested in helping and passionate about saving our planet from, you know, the climate crisis.
I know Philippe had mentioned that this is really an ocean-based planet. You asked what of the ways that we're able to reach out to people and get
them educated, both on what's going on with the planet in terms of climate change but also how to be more involved with wanting to help and protect
our ocean planet.
Certainly EarthEcho, I'm a part of the youth leadership council.
ALEX: And one of the things that we do is focus on developing programs to help educate young people all across the -- our globe. So not just focusing
here in the U.S. It may be a U.S.-based nonprofit institution.
But truly, we have outreach of over, you know, close to 2 million people in 146 countries, reaching them through educational tool kits. You know, for
instance, one of the things that we've worked on as a wild fee (ph) is -- has been the 30 by 30 Movement, protecting 30 percent of the world's oceans
We were able to develop, you know, educational tool kits and event planning guides that provided tools and training resources to, you know, back at it
again, equip young people around the world to help lead educational events on the 30 x 30 goal.
GORANI: And we asked young people involved with this initiative for their thoughts and this is what they told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you do it, then other people will basically copy it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then more people will copy and it will just go on and on and on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is scary but there's hope we can do something about it. So we need to get everyone involved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I accept within myself that even if I made 1 percent better, that's still 1 percent better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right.
Philippe, what is the top initiative, just so viewers understand, that you found particularly effective, that was something that EarthEcho
International worked on with young people?
COUSTEAU: You know, Hala, it is a great question. I think particularly with our focus on the ocean, a big part of my legacy, as you know, elevating, as
Armon said, this 30 x 30 campaign and this initiative to help build this youth movement to support it, you know, the idea of protecting 30 percent
of the ocean by 2030 is a major goal because the ocean is our largest carbon sink.
It is oftentimes overlooked. We just saw in COP26 a lot of talk about deforestation, not enough talk about the role that the ocean plays, coastal
ecosystems like mangroves, which, by the way, a square acre of mangrove absorbs more carbon than a square acre of rain forest.
Not talking about mangroves and seagrasses in these ocean ecosystems, that play a critical role. This 30 x 30 campaign -- which is a global campaign,
we're leading the youth movement for that -- is all about recognizing that if we allow nature, set aside enough of nature to do its role, to help
restore it in order to provide those carbon sequestration functions, a healthy biodiversity, that that goes a long way toward meeting our goals of
keeping global temperatures under 1.5 degrees Celsius.
And so it is understanding that we need to work in concert with nature and, in particular, with the ocean. And so our campaign, as Armon said, are
equipping youth all over the world to do political campaigns, to do projects in their communities, outreach, and communications. We've had our
youth leaders meet with officials in the White House, government agencies like NOAA and Congress here in the United States, in South Africa, in
India, in Argentina, all over the world because we need a global response to this.
And again, the ocean, we talked about this in the past, the ocean continues to kind of not get the respect that it deserves as being a critical tool to
fight this problem.
GORANI: And, Armon, how do you measure success?
I mean at the end of the day, once you have spoken, you have motivated, you have informed, how do you assess how much of an impact you have made
through these young people?
ALEX: Yes, thank you. I will say this, you know, success can be measured in a multitude of kinds of ways. But certainly the goal of the campaigns that
we develop as a youth leadership council or through EarthEcho are designed in order to help shift mindsets.
I'm a communications major and so I certainly understand the value of, you know, presenting a message to someone and getting them to change their mind
on a subject or just simply, you know, shifting their mindset.
And that's what we would like to focus on here, is shifting mindsets. We live in a time of great challenges but also a time of great opportunities.
And so certainly getting messages across to people. And so one of the ways that I focus on it or one of the ways that I measure success is if I'm able
to help change a mindset.
And moments ago you heard a young person say, even if they're able to help change just 1 percent, that's still 1 percent. That's an entire person,
that's a mindset, that's a person's consciousness. And if we can help shift mindsets to more of an ecofriendly mindset, then we are able to measure
success in that way.
GORANI: Thank you, Armon Alex and Philippe Cousteau, to both of you. We appreciate having you on this special Call to Earth initiative. Thanks so
COUSTEAU: Good to see you (INAUDIBLE).
ALEX: Yes, we appreciate it.
GORANI: And speaking of children making a difference, there are some little people planting big trees. CNN's Bill Weir has that.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since they are an all too rare tourist attraction today, it can be hard to believe --
WEIR (voice-over): -- giant redwoods used to line hundreds of miles of Northern California coast, living for more than 2,000 years as the tallest
organisms on Earth.
Now, David Milarch and his Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is trying to plant a new generation of giants. He takes clippings from the tops of the
oldest and largest, some 400 feet tall, back to his lab in Copemish, Michigan.
There specialists use a technique called micropropagation to grow them into saplings. And he says that, from a single sample, a team of scientists can
grow an unlimited number of clones. The problem: how to get them all in the ground. It will probably take an army.
And that is where these little soldiers come in. They are tree schoolers at the Cow Hollow School in San Francisco. You heard right, not pre- but tree
schoolers, who attend outdoor classes to learn about ecology and sustainability at an early age by getting their little hands dirty.
JEAN FRASER, CEO, PRESIDIO TRUST: Today is particularly important because we're planting some very special trees, which is why we have some special
helpers with us today.
WEIR (voice-over): Keeping their focus is sometimes tough.
FRASER: These redwoods and sequoias have been cloned from some old redwoods and sequoias.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you plant a sequoia?
FRASER: Sequoias, you plant them the same way. You got to make a hole in the ground. You're going to learn how to do that and do it --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know how to make a hole.
FRASER: All right. We need the holes in the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what a hole is.
WEIR (voice-over): But when it's finally time to get down to it, these budding foresters couldn't wait to dig in. On this day, about a dozen
redwood trees made it into the soil.
And for Milarch, these tree plantings are just the start. He hopes someday to replant millions of redwoods all over the world, using our littlest
citizens to help sow the seeds for the biggest forms of life and a healthier planet.
As the old proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. The meaning may not dawn on these tree
schoolers quite yet but they are proof that you're never too young or too old to have an impact and even the tiniest of hands can make a huge
MILARCH: I think the whole world needs that message of hope. There is something each person on this Earth can do to help reverse climate change.
And there's 2 dozen or so 3- to 4-year-olds here today to help us do that. So, if a 3- or 4-year-old can do it, what's your excuse?
GORANI: Good question.
I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.