French giant Total is to focus its global venture fund on “fostering carbon neutrality”, while UK supermajor BP has pumped $5 million into a US carbon-offsetting business.

Total said its fund will increase its capital to $400 million in five years, with the investment to support start-ups that “develop innovative technologies and solutions which help companies to reduce their energy consumption or the carbon intensity of their activities”.

Chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said the fund, known as Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, supports Total’s ambition to become “the responsible energy major”. It will focus on areas such as smart energy, energy storage, bioplastics and recycling.

BP, meanwhile, said its wing BP Ventures will put $5 million into Finite Resources, the parent of US-based forest carbon management company Finite Carbon.

The investment will enable Finite Resources to grow new lines of business to incentivise sustainable forest management, financed by businesses seeking to voluntarily offset carbon emissions.

Founded in 2009, Finite Carbon has become the largest developer of carbon offsets in North America, with more than 40 forest projects covering nearly three million acres.

Nacho Gimenez, managing director, BP Ventures, said: “The conservation and restoration of forests is vital to combating climate change.”