The naturalist said the “alarming” thing is that other issues are going to “take priority and take world leaders’ attention from this urgent problem”.
Attenborough, 89, was talking ahead of his latest documentary about the Great Barrier Reef and as the United Nations conference on climate change takes place in Paris.
He will be at the conference alongside scientists he worked with on his latest series, and said they will be showing their films.
Asked if this is part of a lobbying campaign, he said: “If it’s lobbying for protection of the reef, yes.”
Explaining what he would like governments to do, he said: “To find out ways in which we can actually stop the increase in temperature and CO2.”
He highlighted the responsibility on today’s generation, warning: “People who are going to be around in 10 years’ time, in 20 years’ time, will blame us profoundly, if we don’t do anything about it. Once the glaciers in Greenland start melting that will cause all kinds of cascading disasters, but they’re already happening. Every day that it’s delayed is disastrous. The longer we leave it the worse it gets is all you could say, so let’s get on with it and solve it.”
The broadcaster said that while the human race will survive, there is a “series of disasters which get worse and worse and worse”, and suggested we have passed a number of “tipping points”. He also said the refugee problem is a tipping point, it would be “absurd” to suggest that there are refugees solely because of climate change.
He added: “The world is in turmoil.”