Islands most vulnerable to rising sea levels are pushing for a climate-damage insurance program, adding to pressure on industrial nations to boost aid committed to fight global warming past $US100 billion a year.

The islands propose a "loss and damage" mechanism that would insure and compensate countries that suffer from extreme weather, erosion and drought. The request adds to tensions between more than 190 industrial and developing nations at the United Nations climate talks in Doha this week.

"All we are asking if that they help us with these issues that aren't our doing," Malia Talakai of Nauru, lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, or AOSIS, bloc of 43 island nations, said in an interview in Doha. "We are trying to say that if you pollute you must help us."

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