Transparency, he defined as having "a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we're living up to our obligations." An agreement without that would "be a hollow victory," he said.
Third, the president pushed the world's wealthier economies to help "developing countries adapt, particularly the least developed and most vulnerable countries to climate change."
The White House has been working on getting a sign-off from the group of developing nations known as the G-77 by working with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zinawi, the official said.
President Obama flew to Copenhagen on the last day of the conference as the prospects of climate change agreement looked dim. White House officials indicated earlier today that Chinese officials were unmoving on their refusal to allow a transparent verification system, a stance that will make a deal difficult to achieve.
World leaders were looking to Obama to help break the deadlock at the climate conference.
The original goal of the climate change conference was a legally binding international treaty reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, but with China has been hesitant to commit to serious greenhouse gas emission cuts and it became clear months ago that would not happen.
Leaders from more than 190 countries spent the last two weeks working on a more informal climate change agreement, but that might be out of reach too.
Obama met with Jibao for nearly an hour today to press the case that China needs to allow for transparency.
Obama and Wen directed their negotiators to work on a bilateral basis and with negotiators from other countries to see if an agreement can be reached here.
A senior White House official in Copenhagen told ABC News earlier today that the Chinese were holding their ground.
"We've done what we can here," the official said."The Chinese are dug in on transparency and are refusing to let people know they're living up to their end of the agreement."
Obama pushed for transparency, saying publicly that "we must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and to exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we are living up to our obligations. For without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page."
He added that the offer was on the table "if -- and only if -- it is part of the broader accord" including transparency.
In Copenhagen, negotiators had worked through the night and met for hours behind closed doors in the hopes of reaching some sort of an agreement, with U.S. officials working quickly to reach a compromise before Obama's arrival. The White House had hoped for an agreement before the president's high-stakes visit, but negotiations for a formal treaty had been doomed to failure even before the conference began.
In the last-minute push, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unscheduled appearance to urge on her international counterparts.