Kiribati President Anote Tong says it is already too late to save many small island states from being swamped by rising seas.
Mr Tong, speaking to CNN during negotiations in Bonn on a new climate change treaty, says total annihilation is now inevitable for Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives.
He says whatever is agreed today with the United States or China it will not have a bearing on Kiribati's future, because it istoo late.
But Mr Tong says he hopes it could provide a lesson that stronger action is needed on climate change.
He says hopefully that experience will send a very strong message that Kiribati might be on the front line today, but others will be on the front line next - and the next and the next.