Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy but too often it sends the message that business as usual will do.
The government must be put on a "war footing" to tackle climate change, according to a cross-party group of politicians led by former Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Mr Miliband said the UK faced a "climate emergency" and called for a "revolution in political leadership" to tackle what he dubbed "climate appeasement".
He is helping launch the new Environmental Justice Commission by the IPPR think tank, along with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and former Conservative MP Laura Sandys.
The commission proposes to set out "an ambitious and rigorous programme of reform capable of tackling the dual problems of climate change and wider economic and social injustice".
It aims to focus on how the UK can deliver on pledges to limit global warming and cutting carbon emissions to net zero and is seeking the views of people around the country on the way forward.
This includes looking at a Green New Deal to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs by focusing the entire economy on environmental change, the social injustices involved in climate change, and the UK's international responsibilities in tackling the crisis.
Mr Miliband said: "We face a climate emergency. Climate change is the biggest threat to our economic and social well-being, and to our national security.
"Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy but too often it sends the message that business as usual will do.
"We need a revolution in political leadership; the problem we face is not just climate denial but climate appeasement.
"This commission brings together people from all walks of life, generations and political parties to bring about the solutions we need."
Ms Lucas added: "The climate movement has broken into the mainstream, and it's here to stay. We must now focus on what is scientifically necessary, not what is seen as politically possible.
"Maintaining the status quo is to gamble with the fate of humanity and the prosperity of all who live in this country.
"The environmental crises can only be tackled through a transformation of our whole economy.
"A Green New Deal would mean a mobilisation of resources unprecedented in peacetime to create a fairer, more equal country."
Alain Tolhurst is a parliamentary reporter for the Press Association.