The NGO Oxfam is calling on New Zealand to strengthen its commitment to reducing emission targets in support of its Pacific neighbours.
Regional leaders meet at the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum summit in Papua New Guinea next week, and climate change will be high on the agenda.
Oxfam New Zealand's executive director, Rachael Le Mesurier, says while the Pacific region is the first and the worst hit by climate change, it contributes least to global pollution.
She says climate change is the most significant leadership challenge facing the Pacific.
"Australia and New Zealand are presently regarded as two of the worst performing governments when it comes to climate change and drag on international efforts, so this backwardness is even all the more remarkable given that we are both surrounded by some the most climate vulnerable countries on the earth."
The outcome of the forum will be looked at with interest ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November.