Leonardo DiCaprio has praised China's work to combat climate change and says he believes the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases could be "the hero of the environmental movement."

The environmentalist actor is in Beijing to promote his movie "The Revenant." He called for action to combat climate change during his Oscar acceptance speech last month and on Sunday praised China's shift toward renewable forms of energy.

He told a news conference: "I really think that China can be the hero of the environmental movement, they can be the hero of the climate change movement."

"The Revenant" was released in mainland China on Friday and has already earned 100 million yuan ($15 million) at the Chinese box office.