A comprehensive UN report has revealed that the impact of global warming is likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible."
The report, which is anticipated to have far-reaching and serious consequences for industry, employment and environmental policy on a global scale, was agreed following a week of intense discussions in Yokohama and raises significant concerns about the lack of a co-ordinated worldwide plan for dealing with the issue.
"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,'' IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told journalists at a news conference in Yokohama.
An increase in global temperature of as little as 2 degrees centigrade could have a devastating effect on the planet's delicately balanced ecosystem and lead to the destruction of polar ice caps, flooding, food shortages and a potentially catastrophic change in world weather systems.
"We need to tackle this head-on immediately," said the IPCC chairman, "before it's too late for all of us."