The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an alert Tuesday regarding the identification and reporting of potential fraud or manipulation in carbon markets.
The alert aims to assist the public in recognizing and reporting potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act connected to fraud or manipulation in carbon markets.
CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam emphasized the importance of maintaining integrity and trust in carbon markets by detecting and addressing fraud and manipulation.
“Alongside the continued growth of CFTC regulated carbon offset derivatives contracts, the agency is building upon its expertise to ensure the utility and reliability of these markets, as well as its ability to identify and pursue any potential fraud or abusive practices,” Behnam said in a press release. “Information from whistleblowers advances the commission’s enforcement mission and, in turn, further builds integrity and trust in the carbon markets by rooting out fraud and manipulation.”
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, in collaboration with market participants, will work to investigate potential fraudulent activities in carbon markets. The reported information might pertain to manipulative and wash trading, “ghost” credits, double counting, fraudulent statements regarding carbon credits, and potential manipulation of tokenized carbon markets.
Individuals who submit information through the CFTC’s whistleblower program are eligible for confidentiality and anti-retaliation protections, as well as potential monetary rewards—between 10 to 30 percent of sanctions collected—if their information contributes to a successful CFTC enforcement action.
The voluntary carbon credit market is currently estimated at $2 billion and projected to reach $250 billion by 2050, according to research by Morgan Stanley cited by the CFTC. Carbon credits serve as the underlying commodity for futures contracts listed on CFTC-designated contract markets, over which the agency has authority and oversight.