Oct 25, 2019

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

Ben Geman, author of Generate

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.

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