US negotiator: Presidential election won’t impact climate work

US negotiator: Presidential election won’t impact climate work
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The United States presidential election will have little impact on American efforts to combat climate change, the Obama administration’s top climate negotiator said this week. 

In an interview with ClimateWire, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing said that his international counterparts are asking him “at every turn” about the presidential election. 

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But Pershing said he tells them that little will change in the U.S. if either Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonColorado governor teases possible presidential run Mueller asks judge for September sentencing for Papadopoulos House Judiciary Committee subpoenas FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts MORE or Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE wins the election, citing everything from new technologies and stronger appliance standards to political support for renewable energy tax credits. 

"To me, there's more likely to be continuity no matter who's in office," Pershing told ClimateWire.

"The priorities are very different -- we certainly have heard different messages" from Clinton, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican. But “I believe that this is a huge problem, though, and no matter who is president, it's going to be part of what they have to deal with."

Pershing, who took over as the administration’s top climate negotiator this spring, has previously said there is “some concern globally” about where the United States might take its climate work, depending on the results of November’s election. But he has sought to calm those concerns among international climate diplomats.

Clinton and Trump take very different approaches to climate change. Clinton has said she would build on the work President Obama has done on the matter and that she supports the Paris climate deal, an international agreement reached last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Trump said he would renegotiate that deal, and he has promoted fossil fuels over the course of his campaign.