Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says reaching an international agreement to deal with global warming is possible, but it will be terrifyingly hard.
The latest United Nations report on climate change states there is 95% certainty that human activity is causing global warming.
Opposition parties say the Government must take note of the report's finding and respond by investing more in renewable energy.
But Mr Groser says the findings in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will not alter the Government's policy on oil and gas exploration.
He says his priority will be to use New Zealand's influence to help the international community agree on a global response that includes all countries, and not just a few.
The prime minister's chief science adviser says the report is no surprise for scientists and should be convincing for climate-change sceptics.
Sir Peter Gluckman says people have to get beyond politics and begin long-term planning to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions.