The European Union's environment commissioner has hailed the latest report of the world's top scientific authority on climate change, and called for a radical new pact to tackle global warming.
The Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its starkest warning yet, declaring that the impact of global warming could be "abrupt or irreversible" and no country would be spared.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon seized on the report to demand that world leaders smash the deadlock on how to deal with the greenhouse-gas peril when they stage a key conference on the Indonesian island of Bali in December.
EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas echoed the call in a statement released in Brussels, calling the fourth assessment report of the IPCC "a milestone in our scientific knowledge about climate change and the grave threats global warming poses to the planet."
"The report's findings amount to a stark warning that the world must act fast to slash greenhouse gas emissions if we are to prevent climate change from reaching devastating levels," he said.
"The good news is that it also shows that deep emission cuts are both technologically feasible and economically affordable.
"This synthesis report is vital reading for decision-makers everywhere ahead of the UN climate change conference in Bali starting in just over two weeks."
"The global community must respond to this scientific call for action by agreeing in Bali to launch negotiations on a comprehensive and ambitious new global climate agreement. Efforts will be needed by all major emitters if we are to have a chance of controlling climate change before it is too late."
Mr Dimas also noted that the IPCC "fully supports the EU policy that global warming must be limited to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial temperature."
The Bali conference, taking place under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is tasked with setting a "roadmap" of negotiations for intensifying cuts in carbon emissions beyond 2012, when current pledges run out under the Kyoto Protocol.
Source: ABC News