United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged China to be a global leader in fighting climate change, saying Beijing's co-operation is crucial to sealing a new greenhouse gas deal in Copenhagen at the end of the year. 'Without China, there can be no success this year on a new global climate framework,' said Mr Ban yesterday on his third visit to the country since taking office. 'But with China, there is an enormous potential for the world to seal a deal in Copenhagen.' Mr Ban will be leading the highly-anticipated UN summit in the Danish capital in December to hammer out a new pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a successor to the Kyoto Protocol to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, which expires in 2012. The Kyoto Protocol struggled to secure the signatures of some of the world's biggest emitters, including the United States, as developing nations including China and India were exempt from binding emissions targets. Developing nations have resisted binding carbon emission caps so far, saying improving the lives of their citizens came first and the developed world - which benefited from years of high pollution - should bear the main responsibility for fixing global warming. The developed world said no deal was realistic unless the big polluters in the developing world accepted binding emission targets. Mr Ban praised the mainland for its 'remarkable progress' in promoting renewable energy and raising energy efficiency, but hinted that it could do more in cutting emissions. 'I urge you to build on this progress including through energy and carbon intensity targets,' he said. 'Strong signals from China on mitigation actions announced before Copenhagen will help push the negotiating process forward.' Indeed change might be on the way. In April, policy advisers to the central government for the first time said that it was considering setting a national carbon intensity target linked to economic growth, which was hailed by environmental groups as one significant step forward from the current energy reduction targets. Carbon intensity refers to carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of GDP. Mr Ban called on Beijing to live up to its 'global power' status and said it was the most important developing economy and would play a critical role in the negotiations - it was, after all, the world's fastest growing major economy, and coal accounted for 85 per cent of its carbon emissions. 'China has an opportunity to blaze a new trail for the world' in creating a new low-emission development model, Mr Ban said. The UN chief held talks with the President Hu Jintao , Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday. He also oversaw the launch of the 'Green Lights' programme, a joint initiative between the UN and the mainland on promoting energy-saving light bulbs across the country. Mr Ban and the leaders also pledged support for each other in tackling other challenges like the financial crisis and poverty. The nuclear situation in North Korea and Myanmar was also expected to be discussed. Mr Ban visits Xian today, before flying to Mongolia.