CO2 Compensation

Plant trees, fight poverty and protect the climate

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

Why climate compensation?

The flight on vacation, a steak on the plate, the heating in the apartment: we constantly produce climate-damaging gases. Some are difficult or impossible to avoid. The fact is: we are fueling climate change with our standard of living.

The people who suffer most from global warming are those who contribute the least to it: the particularly poor people in the countries of the global South.

The changing climate there is already causing crop failures. When harvests fail, families suffer from deprivation and hunger.

Climate compensation means: You ensure that harmful greenhouse gases are saved elsewhere or removed from the atmosphere. But for Menschen für Menschen, climate compensation also means fighting poverty.

Klima Schutz

We offer you the opportunity to offset the emissions of your unavoidable climate-damaging greenhouse gases - and at the same time help particularly poor people: With your compensation, we grow tree seedlings in Ethiopia. We planted a million trees by the end of 2022. Now we want to plant another 1.2 million trees.

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

You can also offset your greenhouse gases with wood-saving and health-friendly stoves. Because women in rural Ethiopia usually still cook over open fires with a lot of smoke - harmful to their health and the climate.

Compensate for CO2 emissions and fight poverty: With our tree plantings and wood-saving stoves, climate and human protection go hand in hand.

How much does your climate compensation cost?

We plant trees and we train farmers how to use agroforestry (the cultivation of agricultural products in combination with trees) to increase their yields and become resilient to climate change. We make the distribution of wood-saving stoves possible.

The trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The stoves save the atmosphere from CO2 emissions. For every ton of CO2 saved or removed from the atmosphere, the cost is 22 francs.

As a development organization, we focus on our project work in Ethiopia. We cannot program a complex CO2 footprint calculator that attempts to estimate your individual emissions. Instead, we offer you guidelines:

Frau auf den Feld
Eine Baumschule von Menschen für Menschen in Äthiopien
Um eine Tonne CO2 zu kompensieren, müssen wir in unserem Projekt 18 Bäume pflanzen.

What does your climate compensation achieve?

The problem

In Fogera county in northwest Ethiopia, farmers are not harvesting enough. Their families only have enough to eat for a few months of the year. The children are vulnerable to illness due to lack and hunger.

Out of necessity, people have cut down many forests on slopes to create firewood and new fields. This leads to topsoil being washed away. The groundwater balance is disturbed. And now global climate change is causing more and more problems for farmers with unpredictable and lack of rainfall.

The women have to go further and further to find fuel. The smoke from cooking fires irritates the respiratory tract. It is as detrimental to your health as consuming a lot of cigarettes.

Grössenvergleich: Umriss vom Land Äthiopien und der Schweiz
Äthiopien ist rund 27 Mal grösser als die Schweiz. Der Distrikt Fogera ist fast so gross wie der Kanton Zürich
Erosion trench in Fogera
Solche Erosionsgräben entstehen an Hängen ohne schützende Baumwurzeln. Bei starken Regenfällen wird die Erde weggeschwemmt.

The solution

We plant 2.2 million tree seedlings, which we provide from our nurseries. They bind climate-damaging CO2. At the same time, the trees act as erosion protection and water storage. Because they are specifically planted on slopes and in narrow valleys, ditches and gullies: their roots prevent the rapid surface runoff of precipitation and further washing away of the topsoil. The groundwater regenerates and feeds springs and streams all year round.

We also train small farmers. They learn how to achieve the best possible yields on small fields and despite climate change. We offer unemployed young people and women microcredits to start a business, for example in the small trade in agricultural products.

We enable families to have wood-saving stoves. They protect the health of women and children and the climate.

The interlinked activities help rural populations adapt to climate change. 6,000 families with around 30,000 people will benefit from the measures now planned.

How much CO2 can be offset per tree?

Trees grow over generations. When they are young, they absorb relatively little CO2; it is only after decades that they reach their maximum CO2 absorption.

But the climate cannot wait that long. We need as much compensation as possible now and in the coming years. That's why we plant a large number of trees and assume a time frame of just ten years in our compensation calculation.

We plant around two dozen different types of trees. In the first ten years, each of our trees absorbs 5.5 kg of CO2 per year. This corresponds to 55 kg of CO2 per tree over a period of ten years. So we have to plant 18 trees to offset one ton of CO2.

We did not take into account in our compensation calculation that the trees will store a lot more CO2 in later years. In addition, our wood-saving stoves bring enormous CO2 savings of 650 kilograms per year.

Frau neben holzsparendem Herd
Dass die Bäume in späteren Jahren noch sehr viel mehr CO2 speichern werden, haben wir in unserer Kompensationsrechnung nicht berücksichtigt. Daneben bringen unsere holzsparenden Herde enorme CO2-Einsparungen von 650 Kilogramm – pro Jahr.
Bauer pflanzt Setzling
Frau trägt Holzbündel
entwaldete Hügel

How useful are trees for climate compensation?

Anyone who calms their conscience thanks to CO2 compensation and flies more often than before is of course doing more harm to the climate than protecting it - because trees need years until they have absorbed the CO2 that is produced in the turbines during an hour of flight. Avoiding greenhouse gases is therefore always the best solution. For example, the train journey to nearby European destinations often takes little longer than the flight.

But some air travel is essential. Other components of the personal CO2 footprint are also difficult to avoid. Then compensation through tree planting is a good option - especially due to the additional effects of reforestation beyond CO2 absorption. Our wood-saving stoves reduce the pressure on the remaining forest. Our compensation options in the Fogera district in Ethiopia

  • increase biodiversity
  • improve water balance and microclimate
  • protect against erosion and loss of topsoil
  • This ensures better harvests
  • serve as a diverse resource, for example for beekeeping
  • promote the resilience of poor small farming families
    Climate change

What do you get for your climate compensation?

  • Upon request, you will receive a certificate from us about your compensation benefits. 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 confirmation that you can claim for tax purposes (according to the regulations in your canton).
  • As a Zewo-certified aid organization, we meet high standards of monitoring and effectiveness: you are assured that your CO2 compensation will flow into sustainable tree planting, from which poor families in particular benefit.
  • We work with the local authorities. The local decision-makers and the population are behind the reforestation and the promotion of wood-saving stoves. You get the certainty that your CO2 compensation will flow into sustainable tree planting or health- and climate-friendly stoves.


Do you have any questions about our CO2 compensation project? Would you like to make a CO2 compensation as a gift? Then contact us.

Your contact person:


Nova Swiss logo


«In October 2021, Nova Werke AG celebrated its 100th anniversary. We compensated for the big anniversary event with our employees and many guests through the people-for-people reforestation project.

Coffee Anna logo

Coffee Annan

Coffee Annan is a young Swiss start-up that is committed to creating value in Africa. Together with passionate coffee producers, they roast specialty coffees in the growing countries.

For our event, 640 trees were planted in Ethiopia - and a sycamore tree as a symbol of the cooperation with us in Switzerland. We are proud that we were able to compensate for the CO2 emissions caused by the festival and at the same time enable many people in Ethiopia to escape poverty."
Robert Demuth, Head of Sales Administration / Key Account Manager

Coffee Annan compensates for the CO2 generated from the cultivation to the customer and supports our tree planting project in Fogera, Ethiopia.