/A New Year vow for our leaders? Start taking climate change seriously

A New Year vow for our leaders? Start taking climate change seriously

Never has there been a more important time for politicians to move beyond paying lip service to the fight against global warming, says Owen Gaffney

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STOP smoking? Lose weight? Play less Fortnite? It is the time of year to forgo instant gratification for long-term gain. For world leaders, getting serious about climate change offers the ultimate New Year’s resolution.

Last year was the fourth hottest on record. An unprecedented heatwave in the northern hemisphere brought devastating wildfires and floods. And with an El Niño – the ocean phenomenon that raises global temperatures – spinning up in the Pacific, 2019 could be even hotter.

Despite the hype, the Paris Agreement on climate change has barely more legal status than your personal pledges …