Wood is the traditional fifth anniversary gift because it symbolizes the durability of a relationship. Had they met in person, wooden gifts may have been exchanged between the heads of state from more than 70 countries who instead gathered virtually for a Climate Action Summit to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, with many announcing new and more ambitious climate targets at, or in the lead up to, the event.
The virtual summit was held in lieu of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) which was postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Despite, or possibly in part because of, outgoing President Trump’s efforts to undermine the Paris Agreement — the U.S. government officially had no presence at the virtual summit — the agreement has remained resilient. In a statement early Saturday, President-elect Joe Biden said the U.S. would increase its domestic emissions reduction target and commit to a 2050 net zero goal, following a call from 1,500 leaders from cities, states, businesses, and other entities prior to the summit urging an “America is All In” mobilization on climate. Governors Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) and Charlie Baker (R.-Mass.) attended the virtual event.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on every country to declare a “climate emergency” and pressed rich nations to increase financing and aid to less developed countries, which are the most impacted by, and least responsible for, climate change. (AP, TIME, Thomson Reuters Foundation, AP, Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Politico EU, Thomson Reuters Foundation, MarketWatch, FT $; Guterres: Politico Pro $, Reuters, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Axios, The Hill; Brazil: Quartz, UK: New York Times $, TIME, AP, Reuters, The Guardian; Canada: Politico Pro $; China: New York Times $, FT $, Axios; EU agrees to slash carbon emissions by 2030 New York Times $, TIME, Vox, AP, Climate Home, Washington Post $; India: Reuters; Vatican: Reuters; Gifts: Brides.com)