Around 30 environment ministers and delegates from the world's biggest polluters are set to meet in the Danish territory of Greenland on Tuesday ahead of the larger UN climate summit in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.
The informal meeting is taking place in Ilulissat on Greenland's west coast and Danish Climate Minster Connie Hedegaard said it will aim to "change points of view and go further in its conclusions than those in other forums."
The United States, Germany, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, India and Brasil, are all attending the four-day "Greenland dialogue", an annual meeting on a climate change first held by Denmark four years ago in the same town.
Only China has not confirmed if it will send a delegation so far and Danish media have speculated that Beijing is still upset about a visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to Copenhagen last May.
A spokeswoman for the Chinese Embassy in Denmark told AFP they were still deciding whether to attend. A number of African countries will also be at the meeting including Sudan, Tanzania and Mali.
The previous meeting was held in Argentina last year, with Sweden hosting the talks in 2007.
According to an American study published last summer, the Ilulissat glacier, a UNESCO-listed site, lost 94 square kilometres (60 square miles) of surface area between 2001 and 2005 due to global warming.