Stakes are high before the Copenhagen summit. If not for the climate, at least for popularity, and some major players seem to be going all in, writes Einar Du Rietz. 

US President Obama’s popularity ratings are not at an all time high. At least not in Copenhagen. When he dashed in recently on a seven hour visit to promote Chicago for the Olympics, most of the town was closed, including the the bridge to neighbouring Sweden, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. Interestingly enough, when I lived a few blocks away from the power center in DC, I never had such experiences. And if you haven’t noticed, Chicago came in last in the ballot.

But in a few months, the Copenhagers will have to endure this again, for the IPCC convention, when not nly Obama, but all sorts of prominences will have to be secluded from the, most likely, manifestations on the street.

Another actor in this comedy is the President of the EU, or more correctly, the PM of Sweden. PM, MR Reinfeld said early that the Copenhagen convention was his absolute top priority during his six month stint as head of the entire union. Never mind Afghanistan, Lisbon and the financial crisis. This would be it. His reputation as a statesman and possibly reelction in less than a year.

The lead actor, however, China, is showing no enthusiasm at all, a fact both presidents do their best to ignore. In other words, we can look forward to one week of deadlock, surrounded by angry commuters and clueless activists, damaging a couple of political careers.

You really want to do this? In that case, go ahead, make my day!


  • Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.