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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NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

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Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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