The non-government organisation Oxfam New Zealand says the refusal of Japan and the United States to renew the Kyoto Protocol on reducing emissions could have severe consequences for the Pacific.
Japan has announced it won't extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, joining the United States in seeking a new agreement.
The head of Oxfam New Zealand Barry Coates says that could take a few years and the science indicates that delay in reducing global emissions could lead to severe impacts in the Pacific.
"Really you know we haven't got that long and particularly Pacific Island states are already kind of suffering the impacts of climate change and need the major emitters to act pretty quickly on reducing their emissions."
However, Barry Coates says there is a new willingness to negotiate in Cancun and the possibility of progress on providing funding for climate change adaptation to developing countries.