The 94-year-old broadcaster, who often uses his platform to shed light on environmental issues, made the comments during his recent appearance on the So Hot Right Now podcast.
'Coming to the boil'
According to The Independent, Attenborough said: "The trouble is that right now the climate issue is also seen as being rather in the distant future because we've got the virus to think about.
“And so what are the papers full of? The virus. Quite right, that's what I want to know about, too. But we have to make sure that this issue, which was coming to the boil with the next COP meeting in Glasgow, has suddenly been swept off the front pages."
'Set back' efforts
Attenborough isn't the only environmentalist to warn how the pandemic is affecting our attention on the climate crisis. TV presenter and vegan advocate Chris Packham says the virus 'could set back' climate change efforts.
Speaking to the BBC, Packham said: If this turns out to be an enforced break in dealing with these issues and we lose the impetus we have gained, that could set us back years. Climate change isn't going away.
"This will be a difficult and terrible time but we have to come out of it having learned lessons and changing our practices.
"We will ask ourselves about how we do business and social interactions - do we need as many jets in the sky? We can't allow ourselves to be this vulnerable again."