The United Nations Childrens Fund says talk of climate action for future generations is misleading given hundreds of millions of children around the world are already adversely affected by climate change.
UNICEF New Zealand's international advocacy manager says the human rights of children on low lying islands all across the Pacific are being threatened by rising sea levels increased severe weather events and food and water shortages.
Sarah Morris says world leaders gathered for COP 21 in Paris this week need to listen to their citizens, millions of whom took to the streets all around the world over the weekend demanding immediate action on climate change.
"UNICEF has a UN mandate to protect the children living in these countries and we see climate change as a violation of children's rights. You know children have a right to a safe clean healthy environment to live in and climate change is, is threatening that."
Ms Morris says failure in Paris would mean an even bleaker outlook for future generations than the one already faced by children today.