The latest international report on climate change has been released and its findings came as little surprise.
Climate change is happening, it's almost entirely humans' fault and limiting its impacts may require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the UN's panel on climate science said.
The fourth and final volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) giant climate assessment offered no surprises, nor was it expected to since it combined the findings of three reports released in the past 13 months.
New Zealand Climate Change Minister Tim Groser pledged to use findings from the reports to develop policies to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
"This report brings together the collective knowledge and expertise of key climate scientists and experts from around the world, including New Zealand. It is the best scientific assessment of climate issues available. I'm delighted that New Zealand scientists have contributed to this body of knowledge," he said today.
"New Zealand is taking a balanced approach to climate change: we are playing our part while avoiding imposing excessive costs on households and businesses.
"We will use the findings from these reports to help develop policies and to take action to mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the effects of climate change."
"As part of our contribution, we are investing in international programmes to support global emission reductions and resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Mr Groser said New Zealand was leading the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, and would be investing $100 million in clean energy for the Pacific over the next three years.
"New Zealand is a very active participant in these international climate change negotiations.
"We will meet with other countries in Lima, Peru this December to continue talks towards a comprehensive new global climate change agreement in 2015. The new agreement is to take effect from 2020, and unlike the Kyoto Protocol, it is to apply to all countries."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side."
Amid its grim projections, the report said the tools were there to set the world on a low-emissions path and break the addiction to burning oil, coal and gas which pollute the atmosphere with heat-trapping CO2, the chief greenhouse gas.
"All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said.
The report is meant as a scientific road-map for the UN climate negotiations, which continue next month in Lima, Peru. That's the last major conference before a summit in Paris next year, where a global agreement on climate action is supposed to be adopted.
The Green Party called the climate report an urgent call to action.
"It is grossly irresponsible for the National Government to increase New Zealand's emissions when we should be reducing them," said Greens co-leader Russel Norman.
"We can do our fair share, but we need to start now. New Zealanders need to know our emissions are going up ? not down as we need them to be. National is ignoring its own token pledge of a 5 per cent reduction by 2020," he said.
- additional reporting AP