Samoa pushes Australia on climate and consultation

Samoa's prime minister is urging Australia to raise the plight Pacific island nations face on the global stage.

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said more needed to be done to combat climate change as she called on the government to ensure regional perspectives remained on the agenda.

"The best example of that is an opportunity for ensuring civic participation - either by sponsorship or using your airplanes just to get us around," she told the Lowy Institute on Monday.

"Also helping refine the message, taking the message to other forums that the Pacific doesn't necessarily have a voice at."

Ms Mata'afa said countries in the region needed to be consulted on issues that affected them, taking aim at the way larger nations had morphed the geography of the Indian and Pacific oceans into a new area of strategic competition.

"Everyone talks to us about the Indo-Pacific and there's an assumption there we know what they're talking about and actually we don't," she said.

"The Pacific islands were never consulted about that new narrative. We're having to inform ourselves as best we can.

"Given that we occupy a very large space of one of those oceans, one might have thought that having some input from the Pacific islands might have been a good idea."

The Samoan leader is also pushing for greater action on climate change.

"The Pacific will remain persistent in urging major emitters to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies and accelerate actions towards transitioning to lower greenhouse gas emission, climate-resilient economies," she said.

Ms Mata'afa is in Australia until Saturday as a guest of the Australian government.