"I think as many leaders as possible - including President Obama - do need to come there, because that will make a difference in the end to the kind of deal we want... His diary is a matter for him, but I hope he does go. I think it's important that this is done in the end by leaders."
The pressure on the US President is likely to be resented by the White House. President Obama does not want to be associated with a failed summit and in the last 24 hours there has been a retreat from the initial hope that Copenhagen would deliver a binding climate deal.
World leaders are more hesitant, partly because of opinion polling which suggests voters do not see action on climate change as a priority during these difficult economic times. In a poll of British voters for The Times, "only just over a quarter (28 per cent) think that [climate change] is happening and is “far and away the most serious problem we face as a country and internationally”. "Just over half (51 per cent)," found Populus for The TImes, "think it is “a serious problem, but other problems are more serious”.
A growing number of Americans think media coverage of climate change is "exaggerated".