A mononuclear Cu(II) chlorodiketonate complex was prepared, characterized, and found to undergo oxidative aliphatic carbon-carbon bond cleavage within the diketonate unit upon exposure to O2 at ambient temperature. Mechanistic studies provide evidence for a dioxygenase-type C-C bond cleavage reaction pathway involving trione and hypochlorite intermediates. Significantly, the presence of a catalytic amount of chloride ion accelerates the oxygen activation step via the formation of a Cu-Cl species, which facilitates monodentate diketonate formation and lowers the barrier for O2 activation. The observed reactivity and chloride catalysis is relevant to Cu(II) halide-catalyzed reactions in which diketonates are oxidatively cleaved using O2 as the terminal oxidant. The results of this study suggest that anion coordination can play a significant role in influencing copper-mediated oxygen activation in such systems.