Nikki Haley, the US' Permanent Representative to the UN, said President Donald Trump does believe in climate change and that humans have a role in it, the media reported.
"President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation," the Indian-American lawmaker told a CNN interview on Saturday night in the wake of his decision to withdraw the US from the historic Paris climate accord.
Trump "knows that it's changing and that the US has to be responsible for it and that's what we're going to do," she continued, adding that withdrawing from the Paris agreement will not change the country's commitment to curbing climate change.
"Just because the US got out of a club doesn't mean we aren't going to care about the environment," she said.
When asked why the US pulled out of the climate agreement, Haley blamed former President Barack Obama for agreeing to regulations that were "too onerous", too strict and ultimately unachievable.
"The regulations from the Paris agreement were disadvantaging our companies," she said, adding "I knew that as a governor. The jobs were not attainable as long as we lived under those regulations. It was not possible to meet the goals had we attempted to."
Haley's comments are the closest acknowledgment by an administration official since Trump took office that the President — who has called climate change a "hoax" on multiple occasions — believes global warming is occurring and humanity has a role in it.
Haley told CNN that Trump will always have America's best interests at heart, including what he does in regard to protecting the environment.
"The rest of the world wanted to tell us how to do it," she said. "But we'll do it under our own terms."
Trump on Thursday said he was formally withdrawing the US from the deal, fulfilling a pledge from his 2016 presidential campaign.
The move was slammed by Canada, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the UN and Obama.
The country under the Obama administration in 2015 had pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 per cent by 2025 as part of the agreement.