Latest stream of conscience
Search Resources

CFTC Calls for Carbon Markets Whistleblowers to Come Forward

July 7, 2023

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is looking to crack down on fraud and manipulation in carbon credits in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

In a recently issued alert, the CFTC notes that carbon markets (CMs) “support the transition to a low-carbon economy through market-based initiatives where carbon credits (a/k/a offsets) are purchased and sold either in an over-the-counter market or on spot exchanges.” Carbon credits are “the underlying commodity for futures contracts that are listed on CFTC designated contract markets (DCMs).”

The CFTC has enforcement authority and regulatory oversight over DCMs and any trading in those markets. The CFTC also has anti-fraud and anti-manipulation enforcement authority over the related spot markets for carbon credits. CFTC jurisdiction also applies to carbon allowances and other environmental commodities products that are linked to futures contracts.

According to the alert, misconduct may include:

  • Manipulative and wash trading or other violations of the CEA in CM futures contracts.
  • Fraud in the underlying spot markets related to ghost (a/k/a illusory) credits listed on carbon market registries.
  • Double counting or other fraud related to carbon credits.
  • Fraudulent statements relating to material terms of the carbon credit, including, but not limited to quality, quantity, additionality, project type, methodology substantiating the emissions claim, environmental benefits, the permanence or duration, or the buffer pool.
  • Manipulation of tokenized carbon markets.

Whistleblowers do not need to be a company “insider,” such as an employee or trader. Victims of fraud and other market participants who observe misconduct committed by others may also qualify as whistleblowers.

To be eligible for a monetary award, individuals must voluntarily provide original information about potential violations of the CEA or its rules on a Form TCR (Tip, Complaint, Referral). They should provide details that are specific, credible and timely and include as much information about or evidence of the alleged misconduct as possible, such as price effect or intent. The CFTC will pay monetary awards to whistleblowers whose information leads to a successful enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in monetary sanctions.

If you are considering reporting information to the CFTC, please fill out our online form or contact us by phone at (267) 551-5240 or via e-mail at for a free, confidential consultation.


Receive updates via email

Contact Us
Trial Lawyer Tales
  1. Inclined Sleepers: The Hidden Danger in Your Nursery

    Inclined Sleepers: The Hidden Danger in Your Nursery Feldman Shepherd product liability attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis discuss the dangers of inclined infant sleepers and why reports of 73 infant deaths and more than 1,000 incidents were allowed to mount for 14 years at the Consumer Product Safety Commission…

    Play Episode
  2. Boeing’s 737 MAX: A Crisis in Safety

    Aviation attorney/licensed pilot G. Scott Vezina explains the history of Boeing’s 737 MAX and takes listeners “inside the cockpit” to understand why the plane crashed twice, killing hundreds of people, before aviation authorities worldwide grounded it.

    Play Episode
Recent Posts