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April 1, 2024

Fact Sheet: The CFTC Needs to Stop Talking and Take Meaningful Action to Fight Climate Change Through Voluntary Carbon Markets

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Cantrell Dumas, Director of Derivatives Policy, issued the following statement in connection with the release of Better Markets’ new Fact Sheet, “Carbon Markets Are Vital to Tackle Climate Change: The CFTC Has to Stop Talking and Take Meaningful Action”:

“The CFTC could and should play an important, meaningful, and impactful role in addressing the climate crisis and facilitating the transition to a low carbon future. Unfortunately, the agency’s leadership has mostly been focused on talking, and not doing.  The latest example is the CFTC’s proposal for guidelines on Voluntary Carbon Credit (VCC) derivative contracts.  Yes, it is a step forward, as detailed in the Fact Sheet we are releasing today, but it’s too little too late. With more than three years already elapsed since President Biden took office, and with another election cycle already underway, we can’t afford to waste any more time. The risk that a new administration might derail this progress is too great to ignore. The CFTC must act with urgency to finalize these guidelines. Establishing clear, robust standards for VCC derivatives is not just a regulatory necessity—it’s a cornerstone for ensuring the transparency and integrity of carbon markets, and a vital component of the larger battle against climate change.

“The CFTC must then set clear, timed goals to track progress in the voluntary carbon markets. Creating these ‘green milestones’ will enable the determination of whether these markets are working as intended. This approach is crucial for stakeholders to sift through the hype and identify whether the voluntary carbon market is a true agent of environmental change or simply a smokescreen of activity. Through transparency, monitoring and evaluation of these milestones, the CFTC can prevent the voluntary carbon market from being merely a shiny distraction—climate change’s ‘fool’s gold’—but instead strengthen its role as a crucial and powerful tool in our fight against global environmental threats.”

Learn more in our fact sheet.


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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