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The CFTC’s Climate Change Initiative Takes Tentative Step Forward

On June 2, 2022, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) released a request for information on how climate-related financial risk is related to the derivatives markets and underlying commodities markets (the “RFI”). The RFI is intended to inform the CFTC’s next steps in this rapidly developing area and respond to the 2021 Report on Climate-Related Financial Risk from the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”).

However, CFTC Commissioners already have raised concerns regarding the scope of the RFI and the CFTC’s authority to take certain actions under it. Therefore, market participants should consider submitting comments that address not only the questions raised in the RFI but also the statutory limits on the agency’s authority.

Responses to the RFI are due 60 days following publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. In our legal update here, we have summarized the key parts of the RFI and highlight some of the concerns raised by CFTC Commissioners.

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