With Menschen für Menschen you can now compensate your climate-damaging greenhouse gases – and at the same time help particularly poor families in Ethiopia.

Arme Familie lebt mit 1 Franken pro Tag

Many farming families in Ethiopia live on just one franc a day.

Why climate compensation?

The flight to your holiday, a steak on your plate, the heating in your apartment: we are constantly producing climate-harming gases. Some of them are difficult or almost impossible to avoid. The fact is that with our standard of living we are contributing to climate change.

Above all global warming affects those who contribute least to it: the particularly poor people in the countries of the South.

There the changed climate is already causing crop failures. When harvests fail, families suffer shortages and possibly even hunger.
Climate compensation means you ensure that the greenhouse gases you produce are saved elsewhere or removed from the atmosphere. But for Menschen für Menschen, climate compensation also means fighting poverty.
We offer you the opportunity to offset the emission of your unavoidable climate-damaging greenhouse gases – and at the same time help particularly poor people: With your offsetting, we grow tree seedlings in Ethiopia. Our goal is to plant over 1,000,000 trees. These trees in total will cover an area of around 550 football pitches.

The trees improve the life prospects of the poorest families. At the same time, the trees bind thousands of tons of CO2 – and thus help the climate. In Africa – and also in Switzerland.

Compensating CO2 emissions and fighting poverty: our tree plantations go hand in hand with climate protection and the protection of people.

Co2 Kompensation

A tree nursery by Menschen für Menschen in Ethiopia.

Compensate CO2

What does your climate compensation cost?

We plant trees and we train smallholder farmers how to increase their harvests and become resilient to climate change by means of agroforestry (the cultivation of agricultural products in combination with trees).

For each ton of CO2 that is thereby removed from the atmosphere, the cost is 28 Swiss francs.

As a development organisation, we concentrate on our project work in Ethiopia. We cannot have an elaborate CO2 footprint calculator programmed to estimate your individual emissions. Instead, we offer you guideline values:

Compensation examples CO2-
Costs of compensation
Steak Icon Co2 kompensierenBeef and veal per year (average Swiss per capita consumption of 11.5 kg) 400 kilograms 11 Swiss francs
Weekendtrip Co2 kompensierenWeekend trip by plane: Zurich – London – Zurich (air-line distance: 1’576 km) 573 kilograms 16 Swiss francs
Auto Co2 kompensierenPrivate car (15’000 km annual mileage) 2,07 Tons 58 Swiss francs
TransatlantikflugTransatlantic flight: Zurich – New York – Zurich (12’806 km) 2,6 tons 73 Swiss francs
Co2-Fussabdruck Co2 kompensierenAnnual CO2 footprint per person in Switzerland (including emissions caused abroad by imported goods) 14 Tons 392 Swiss francs

For us, compensations are earmarked donations. You will receive a donation confirmation. Donations can be tax deductible (according to the regulations in your canton).

One ton of CO2 has this much volume

CO2 Compensation - Cube: One ton CO2

We have to plant 18 trees in our project to compensate for one ton of CO2.

Compensate CO2

CO2 compensation project in Fogera

Ethiopia is about 27 times larger than Switzerland. The district of Fogera is almost as large as the canton of Zurich.

What is the benefit of your climate compensation?

The problem

In the district of Fogera in the Northwest of Ethiopia the farmers do not harvest enough. Their families only have sufficient food for a few months of the year. The children are vulnerable to diseases due to lack of food and hunger.

The people have cut down many forests on slopes out of necessity, in order to gain firewood and new fields. This leads to topsoil being washed away. The groundwater balance is disrupted. And now the global climate change with unpredictable and reduced rainfall is causing the farmers more and more problems.

Erosion trench in Fogera

Such erosion ditches occur on slopes without protective tree roots. During heavy rainfall the earth is washed away.

The solution

We plant over one million tree seedlings, which we provide from our nurseries. They bind climate-damaging CO2. At the same time, the trees act as erosion control and water storage. This is because they are planted specifically on slopes and in narrow valleys, ditches and gullies: On an area the size of 550 football pitches, their roots prevent the rapid surface run-off of precipitation and thus further erosion of the topsoil. The groundwater regenerates and feeds springs and streams all year round.
We also train the smallholder farmers. They learn how to achieve the best possible yields in small fields despite climate change. We offer unemployed young people and women microcredits to help them set up their own businesses, for example in the retail trade with agricultural products. These interlinked activities help the rural population to adapt to climate change. In total, 5,400 families with around 32,000 members benefit.


How much CO2 can be compensated per tree?

Trees grow over generations. They absorb relatively little CO2 in young years, only after decades of growth do they reach their maximum CO2 absorption.

But the climate cannot wait that long. It needs as much compensation as possible now and in the coming years. That is why we are planting a large number of trees and are assuming a time frame of only ten years in our compensation calculation.

We are planting around two dozen different types of trees. In the first ten years, each of our trees absorbs 5.5 kg of CO2 per year. Correspondingly, over the ten-year period, each tree absorbs 55 kg of CO2. So we have to plant 18 trees to compensate for one ton of CO2.

The fact that the trees will store much more CO2 in later years has not been taken into account in our compensation calculation.

Gefällter Strauch | Stiftung Menschen für Menschen

Trees are felled to build houses...

Brennholzträgerin | Stiftung Menschen für Menschen

... or as firewood for cooking.

Entwaldete Hügel | Stiftung Menschen für Menschen

Entire hills, which were once heavily forested, are already bare.

Bauer pflanzt Setzling | Stiftung Menschen für Menschen

In Fogera we reforest the deforested areas.

How useful are trees for climate compensation?

Anyone who uses CO2 compensation to ease his conscience and and uses the plane even more often than before is naturally doing more harm to the climate than protecting it – because trees take years to absorb the CO2 that is produced in an hour’s flight in the turbines. Avoiding greenhouse gases is therefore always the best solution. For example, the train journey to nearby European destinations often takes hardly any longer than the flight.

But some air travel is indispensable. Other components of the personal CO2 footprint are also almost impossible to avoid. In such cases, compensation through tree planting is a good option – especially because of the additional effects of trees and forests beyond CO2 absorption. Our tree plantations in the district of Fogera in Ethiopia.

  • increase biodiversity
  • improve water balance and microclimate
  • protect against erosion and loss of topsoil
  • thus, ensure better harvests
  • serve as a diverse resource, for example for beekeeping
  • promote the resilience of the poor smallholder families in Climate Change


Vorschau Urkunde CO2-KompensationWhat do you get for your climate compensation?

  • Upon request, you will receive a certificate of your compensation payments. We also offer a special tree planting label. Institutions and companies can use this as part of their corporate social responsibility measures.
  • For us, compensations are earmarked donations. You will receive a donation receipt, which you can use for tax purposes (according to the regulations in your canton).
  • As a Zewo-certified relief organisation, we meet high standards of monitoring and effectiveness: you receive the certainty that your CO2 compensation will flow into sustainable tree plantations, from which particularly poor families will also benefit.
  • We work together with the local authorities. The local decision-makers and the population are behind the reforestation. You receive the certainty that your CO2 compensation will flow into sustainable tree plantations.


Compensate CO2

Do you have questions about our CO2 compensation project? Would you like to make a CO2 compensation as a gift? Then please contact us without any obligation.

Your contact person:

Michael KesselringMichael Kesselring
Responsible for CO2 projects
Menschen für Menschen
Phone +41 (0)43 499 10 60