Oct 25, 2019

BP invests $5 million in forest carbon offsets firm Finite Carbon

Photo: Lance King/Getty Images

BP said Friday that its venture capital arm is investing $5 million in a company that specializes in offsetting carbon emissions through forest projects.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of oil giants using their venture arms to stake companies with tech and products designed to fight climate change.

Driving the news: BP is investing in Finite Resources Inc., which is the parent company of Finite Carbon.

  • "The investment will enable Finite Carbon to grow a new line of business to incentivize sustainable forest management, financed by businesses seeking to voluntarily offset carbon emissions," BP said in a release.

The big picture: Rob West, founder of the research firm Thunder Said Energy, tells me that oil majors' total VC spending may reach $700 million this year.

  • However, that's across all forms of tech, not just alternative energy and climate-related companies.

Where it stands: BP isn't the only oil major working in the forest space. The Italy-based multinational Eni calls forest conservation projects a "pillar" of their climate efforts.

  • Per Bloomberg, Eni rolled out plans earlier this year to plant 20 million acres in Africa.

But, but, but: The majors' investments in climate-friendly projects, business lines and startups remains a very small fraction of their spending on oil-and-gas exploration and production.

Go deeper

To meet climate goals, oil producers must slash production

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world's biggest publicly traded oil and natural gas companies would have to cut production by roughly a third on average by 2040 to meet the goals of the Paris climate deal, according to a new report.

The big picture: The opposite is occurring. Most oil and gas producers are expanding production in response to growing demand and the fact that the world is not on track to meet the Paris ambitions.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

A growing oil industry divide

Deep pumps installed on the Dutch border. Photo: Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/picture alliance via Getty Images

A pair of analyses are laying bare the divide between major oil companies and their smaller peers.

Driving the news: A new Rapidan Energy Group note explores plans by Democratic White House hopefuls to thwart oil-and-gas development on federal lands and waters.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

How climate change concerns could affect Saudi Aramco's IPO

Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

It's tough to think about long-term investments in Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, without climate change entering the equation.

The state of play: A huge number of brain cells are devoted to gaming out when global oil demand may peak and what future climate policies mean for the sector. Some forecasters, like the International Energy Agency, don't see a peak before 2040 absent far stronger climate efforts. Others think it could be sooner.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019