Most influential politicians

These statesmen have had a powerful impact on global politics, economics and the chemical industry. How will they play their hands in 2009?

Gordon Brown, UK prime minister

Brown has been at the forefront of global economic rescue attempts, including bank bailouts and fiscal stimulus moves with the G20 group of industrialized and developing nations.

Barack Obama, US president-elect

The 44th president of the US faces the challenge of dealing with the worst recession in a generation. Many fear he will rewrite US energy policy with potentially expensive alternatives and increase regulations. He is already calling for immediate action to curb emissions.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, California governor

He has rallied world leaders to call for action on global warming. In November, he convened the Governors' Global Climate Summit, where 12 other US governors and regional leaders in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India and Indonesia pledged to work together.

Vladimir Putin , Russian prime minister

Continues his influence on Russia in his new role as prime minister, and keeps a firm grip on the country's oil and gas resources. Shook up the world with Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Wen Jiabao, Chinese prime minister

From snowstorms to earthquakes from the UN General Assemblyto the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Wen has shown the world that China is workingto cope with the natural disasters andthe global economic crisis.

Vaclav Klaus, Czech Republic president

Czech President and Euroskeptic Klaus blocked adoption of the EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (Reach) legislation by the Czech Republic's parliament in August, claiming implementation of the stringent environmental regulations would be too expensive for companies when held up against the likely health and safety benefits for consumers in his country.

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