Life Climate Neutral

How many trees need to be planted for a carbon neutral life?

By reforesting 500 trees, you compensate for almost 14 tons of CO2 per year. The annual per capita gross carbon footprint in Europe is about 14 tons of CO2 (per capita). This includes everything we do, buy, consume and buy from abroad.

  • 25% for food
  • 25% for housing and accommodation
  • 27% for mobility
  • 23% for everything else (consumption, services etc.)

The carbon footprint per Swiss citizen is almost 15 tons per year. The reason is easily explained: Switzerland has a high standard of living and can therefore afford more than others.

In Europe, we have been able to reduce carbon emissions by just over 20% between 1990 and today, but worldwide they have increased. Germany was even able to reduce its carbon emissions by almost a third at that time. In general, the East of Europe has reduced its emissions at a higher rate than the West, mainly because of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc at the end of the 1990s, which brought with it an unprecedented deindustrialisation. Millions of industrial jobs were lost.

Like almost all industrialised nations, Switzerland's domestic carbon emissions have also been reduced, but the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 has not been achieved. What we have in common is that more than half of our carbon footprint is now generated abroad, so we export a large part of our carbon footprint in the production of goods and services manufactured for industrialised countries.

Did you know:

  • that the global average per capita carbon emissions per year is 7 tonnes?
  • that the USA emits over 20 tonnes of CO2 per person per year?
  • that in Qatar the CO2 footprint per person per year is more than 30 tonnes?
  • that the average CO2 footprint per person per year in Malawia is only 0.2 tonnes of CO2?
  • that the global average needs to fall to 2.1 tonnes of CO2 per year per capita to reach the 1.5 degree target?


The largest carbon emitting countries by share of global CO2 emissions are:

  • China approx. 28%
  • USA approx. 16
  • India approx. 6%
  • Russia approx. 4.5%
  • Japan approx. 3.5%
  • Germany approx. 2%

If all people had the same standard of living as we Europeans, the resources of 2 planets would be needed. At the top of the consumers are the United States of America with the United Arab Emirates with an extrapolated 4 ½ planets. Moldova, Malawi and Afghanistan, among others, manage with fewer of our planet's resources.

sources: Sources: BAFU, Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Statista

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  • 19.41 % achieved
  • 194,089 trees planted
  • 1,000,000 objective
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