Vanuatu is calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to expand its remit to include the crime of ecocide.
This argument was raised at the annual Assembly of States' Parties meeting in The Hague.
The Assembly has management oversight for the ICC.
Vanuatu Ambassador, John Licht, said an "amendment of the Rome Statute could criminalise acts that amount to ecocide".
Vanuatu said the court was well positioned to help avert climate catastrophe and secure reparation for the victims.
"Vanuatu believes that the ICC's Assembly needs to remain relevant in the face of the greatest threats to human rights in the history of mankind - it needs to seriously consider amendments to have ecocide as the fifth crime under the Rome Statute," Mr Licht said.