Environmental & Climate Change Whistleblowers

We are interested in hearing from individuals and organizations considering coming forward as whistleblowers related to environmental issues, including fraud in systems meant to combat climate change.

As concern for our world, our climate, and environmental justice in our communities continues to grow more urgent, governments have taken some steps forward to create systems and invest in initiatives that can help combat climate change and make communities safer and healthier.

But wherever there is investment and need, there will be wrongdoers taking advantage, cutting corners, and just plain lying. But where our climate and our environment is concerned, the stakes are too high. As we have warned, whistleblowers will be essential to ensuring that money invested towards these efforts goes where it’s intended.

We are looking at a variety of issues whistleblowers can come forward about, including:

  • False Claims Act: a variety of environmental and climate change programs created by the federal government and by state governments will be subject to the anti-fraud protections of the FCA, like:
  • Rebate, credit, or contract fraud by sellers or installers of home clean energy materials or services.

  • Fraud related to methane and other greenhouse-gas emissions to increase subsidies or reduce penalties.

  • Fraud by applicants for loans or grants from the U.S. “Green Bank” created by the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • Fraud by applicants for loans or grants through state infrastructure programs like New York’s new Build Public Renewables Act.

  • Securities Fraud: the SEC Whistleblower Program allows individuals to come forward to report violations of U.S. securities laws. The SEC continues to move towards requiring more climate-related and environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) disclosures by publicly-traded companies to ensure the investing public is aware of how companies handle their strategies, investments, and risks related to environmental impact. Whistleblowers will be able to come forward about a variety of wrongdoing, like:
  • Commodities Fraud: the CFTC Whistleblower Program allows individuals to come forward to report violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. The CFTC has jurisdiction to regulate the American voluntary carbon credit market. As we have written, the CFTC is asking for help from whistleblowers with knowledge about fraud in this area. Examples of potential fraud in this space include:
  • Tax Fraud: Tax fraud can be reported by whistleblowers to the IRS (federal) or to attorney general offices (state). A variety of environmental initiatives flow through tax rebates and credits, including electric vehicle sales, solar panel acquisition and installation, and many more. Fraud and wrongdoing in this space can potentially be reported by whistleblowers to stop wrongdoers from profiting without providing the necessary environmental benefits.

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