BP Invests in Firm Pushing Forests To Offset Carbon Emissions

BP Ventures has invested $5 million in Finite Resources, the parent company of Finite Carbon, a US-based company working to manage forest carbon. The investment will enable Finite Carbon to grow a new line of business to incentivize sustainable forest management, financed by businesses seeking to offset carbon emissions.

Finite Carbon, founded in 2009, is the largest developer of forest carbon offsets in North America, with more than 40 forest projects covering nearly 3 million acres. The company offers landowners a single-source solution for inventorying, managing, and monetizing forest carbon assets.

BP has been an advocate for the establishment of carbon pricing systems and already supports and enables projects that reduce emissions and generate environmental credits, both for voluntary use and compliance purposes. The importance of forests was recognized in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which encouraged governments to support, including through results-based payments, the sustainable management and enhancement of forests as well as activities to reduce emissions from forest degradation and deforestation. Finite Carbon’s voluntary forest offsets program supports these climate goals by providing financial rewards for carbon outcomes.

Nacho Gimenez, managing director for BP Ventures, said, “The conservation and restoration of forests is vital to combatting climate change. BP has supported Finite Carbon’s project developments and purchased many of their offsets for regulatory compliance for a number of years. Now, we look forward to supporting the team’s expansion into the voluntary carbon market as it connects businesses that are willing to offset their carbon footprint with landowners willing to adopt forest management practices that maintain and increase carbon storage.”

Finite Carbon quantifies the carbon benefit of long-term commitments to sustainable forest management practices and connects landowners to businesses that want to incentivize this improved management by paying a fee per ton of carbon dioxide permanently stored in the forest. These practices can include preserving high conservation value areas on their properties, maintaining no-harvest buffers along streams and rivers, reforesting and rehabilitating understocked areas, and increasing the time between harvests.

In addition to maintaining and increasing carbon storage, this investment in improved forest management also creates other benefits in the form of cleaner water and air, reduced wildfire risk, abundant wildlife habitat, and increased recreational opportunities in rural communities. Landowners receive free assessments from Finite Carbon and pay no upfront costs to participate.

Sean Carney, chief executive of Finite Carbon, said, “Just as a price on carbon incentivizes the transition to low-carbon energy production, it also incentivizes the sustainable management of American forests. When businesses choose to buy forest carbon offsets, it means landowners are being paid to practice good forest management, which isn’t as easy or as profitable as the alternative. These changes aren’t just good for the planet, they’re good for the people who fish in, swim in, and drink the water that flows through these forests.

“With BP’s investment in Finite Resources, we plan to significantly scale the use of voluntary offsets as a mechanism to incentivize forest stewardship. With the help of those businesses committed to supporting good forest management, we expect to deliver more than $100 million directly to landowners in the next 5 years.”

To date, Finite Carbon has developed and transacted more than 60 million compliance forest offsets valued at nearly $600 million for a diverse set of landowners including Native American tribes, forestland investors, corporate and private family owners, land trusts, and public agencies.

“Finite Carbon has been an incredible partner,” said Rick Huffines, executive director of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. “They worked on our behalf to build a trusting relationship and bring a complex project to fruition and on time. Revenue from our offset project has enabled us to build critical capacity to further our mission of forestland protection, avian research, and environmental education.”

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