A Scholar for the Islands Society, Genevieve Neilson, said climate change funding for Pacific countries is improving with the US contributing $US500 million to the Green Climate Fund, and new programmes starting in the region.
But she said Pacific states would like greater opportunity to make decisions about how the money was spent.
"If it's being decided in a boardroom somewhere which programmes are being run or how programmes are going to be run or funded then that can really take away from the closer needs of the community."
Genevieve Neilson said some countries such as Samoa have been good at accessing funding directly.
But she said the processes of the international climate change financing mechanisms can be difficult for small countries to negotiate, and some have missed out on the funding they need.