When President Barack Obama arrives in Copenhagen to discuss climate change, he will be met with by a global community that has high expectations for his presidency. Majorities or pluralities in 21 of 25 nations surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project say the president will get the United States to take significant measures to control global climate change. The expectation for action from the Obama administration is especially high in Western Europe. Fully two-thirds or more of the people in Britain (67%), France (81%), Germany (76%) and Spain (65%) say Obama will get the U.S. to act on climate change. Expectations are also extremely high in the country most concerned about climate change — Brazil. Fully 90% of Brazilians consider climate change to be a “very serious problem,” and 77% think Obama will get the U.S. to act on the issue. There is far less faith in Obama to take significant measures on climate change in Russia (34%) and China (49%). In both countries, however, this represents a plurality. This does not mean that other nations want the U.S. to take the lead on global climate change. Asked which country among India, Germany, China, Brazil, Japan, the U.S. and Russia they trust the most to do the right thing in dealing with climate change, majorities or pluralities in just six of 25 countries choose the U.S. (including Americans). In Western Europe, Germany stands out as the most trusted country on climate change. Publics in India, Brazil and China believe their own country can be trusted to do the right thing in dealing with this environmental issue. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.