Big carbon? Oil majors turn to nature to help plug revenue gap

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil companies such as BP and Shell are nurturing nature as a future revenue stream, betting on an expected rise in carbon credit prices as their fossil fuel profits ebb. BP last year put $5 million into Finite Carbon, a company that connects forestry owners with companies seeking to offset their climate-warming emissions via-tree planting. The Californian firm expects to generate $1 billion for landowners over the next 10 years, after a 20-40% cut of the proceeds, its chief executive Sean Carney said. And as companies and countries have rushed over the last year to pledge new net-zero global warming pledges, that forecast may be too conservative, Carney said. “When you put it next to all the announcements and all the talk, it’s a really small number. We might be thinking too low here given the commitments,” he told Reuters. For a graphic on Revenue ambitions dwarf current investments: Climate change goals, agreed in Paris in 2016, have fuelled a growing, but still immature, market for carbon offsets as companies and countries seek to fall in line. European oil majors say investing in projects to create more credits is simply good business, offering new revenue streams at… continue reading

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