UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday pressed China's responsibility to lead the global fight against climate change, which, Ban said, was the major focus of his trip in Asia.

I wanted to highlight the special responsibility of countries like China to lead the global fight against climate change, as well as highlight all that China is doing, Ban said During his monthly press conference on Wednesday. Come September, we will be entering a crucial stage on climate change.

While China's per capita emissions remain far below those of developed countries, China as a whole has already surpassed the United States to become the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. The two countries account for 40 percent of the world's total emissions.

China's three largest energy suppliers emitted more greenhouse gases than all of Britain last year, environmental watchdog Greenpeace China said in a report issued on Tuesday.

The report reflects the heavy reliance on coal that is hampering China's efforts to tackle climate change.

However, China has made some progress.

Over the past 3.5 years, it closed down inefficient coal-fired plants that produced 54.07 gigawatts of energy, equal to Australia's total power capacity, the report said.

Both China and the US are looking for ways to cooperate on addressing the issue of climate change in preparation for UN-led talks in Copenhagen at the end of the year, which will seek to forge a framework for a global climate change treaty.

I was pleased that (Chinese) President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao assured me that China wants to seal a deal in Copenhagen in December and that China will play an active and constructive role in the negotiations to achieve this end.

During his meeting with the Chinese leaders, we also agreed on the importance of global leaders showing the way and discussed in detail the Climate Change Summit in New York on Sept 22, Ban said.

In particular, I helped to launch an ambitious program to promote energy saving lighting which could reduce China's energy consumption by 8%, he said. This is a major step into the 21st century.