The World Bank is urging the international community to heed the plight of Pacific island countries and take action on climate change.
The bank's vice president for Sustainable Development, Rachel Kyte, says Pacific nations will suffer higher sea level rise than other parts of the world.
She says the impact of climate change will threaten the very existence of some countries in the Pacific.
Ms Kyte also warns Australia will see some of the most extreme droughts, with summer temperatures of over 40 degrees becoming commonplace.
She has told Radio Australia's a lack of action on climate change is undermining efforts by the World Bank to address global poverty.
"Imagine we've laid the table, ready for the economic and social solutions to ending poverty and building prosperity," she said.
"And we're about to rip the table cloth from underneath all of the plates and sauces, because climate change is going to not only halt the progress we're making but actually, in some cases, perhaps roll it back."
Ms Kyte says the World Bank's new president Jim Kim has put climate change high on the organisation's agenda.
She says putting a global price on carbon, including removing harmful fossil fuel, would be an important first step in tackling climate change.
"And really working on the way in which we build cities, because 75 per cent of humanity will live in cities and 80 per cent of global emissions will come from them, and then learning how to farm differently.
"Agriculture or climate-smart agriculture by changing the technologies and the approaches that we use in farming actually offers us the opportunity to take carbon out of the atmosphere, while providing livelihoods and increasing agricultural productivity.
"So cities, agriculture, carbon and subsidies are a good place to start."