Well, the US may not exactly be the only country to be countries not party to the Paris Accord (other 2 countries being Syria and Nicaragua), what Donald Trump does not understand is that he is not a leader of some small state whose influence is to a handful (or even less) countries.
He had already loosened ties with NATO countries with his demand for equal share of contributions (which seems logical, but the explanation for this requires another blog). And now, he speaks of how he needs terms that are “fair to the United States”. Yes, the accord might have empowered top polluting countries but those, including India and China, have signed and at least made a gesture to curb emissions.
Climate is not prerogative of on country only. It is a common good that everyone enjoys and therefore is responsible for. So, when Trump speaks of getting elected to “represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”, he misses the point by a wide margin: the harmful effect of one country is not limited to that country itself, and being a superpower – especially when other, China, is rising to become one – means looking beyond one’s border, not creating walls, physical or not. With China eager to influence other countries from taking side of economic globalization (see Belt and Road Initiatives, AIIB and the likes) to being environmentally conscious and acting together with the EU, Trump should be looking beyond Pittsburgh.
Not being a party does not accomplish anything. Just like AIIB that the US rejects, while it could have been a member and changed the organization with what it could have done, it instead remains in the list of a few countries, most of its allies, that have excluded themselves.
These events are turning out to be like the process where one boils a frog alive; the US may not know but it is getting isolated one step at a time. But is surely isolating itself. Looks like it will be a whole new world come the end of Trump’s tenure.