The Trump administration said it had submitted the necessary paperwork to the United Nations for its withdrawal from the Paris climate deal, the first official step in a year-long process to break the global agreement aimed at fighting climate change.
The move is part of Trump's broader strategy to curb regulations on US industry but comes at a time when scientists and many of the world's governments are urging swift action to avoid the worst effects of global warming.
Once the United States leaves, it will be the only country outside the agreement. It is one of the most emitters of greenhouse gases and a prominent producer of oil and gas.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the move on Monday through a Twitter post, noting that the United States has cut its emissions in recent years despite growing production in the energy sector.
"The US is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens," he said.
An official from the French presidential office accompanying President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to China, said "We regret this and this only makes the Franco-Chinese partnership on the climate and biodiversity more necessary."
Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign an agreement on Wednesday, including a clause stipulating that "the Paris Agreement will not be revoked," the official said.