What we do and how it works

What is carbon offsetting?

We all create carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Large amounts are generated through using fossil fuels for travel, power and heating, and through the creation of goods and services that we all use. Individuals and organizations can choose to 'offset' their 'carbon' emissions by supporting other activities that have either reduced or no emissions.

Whether we agree with carbon offsetting or not, it is a multinational, multibillion dollar market. Our case is that PopOffsets is simply the most cost-effective and environmentally beneficial way of offsetting CO2 emissions which, because of its cumulative nature, becomes more and more effective over time.

So what is PopOffsets doing?

PopOffsets funds are disbursed to projects providing family planning services in the UK and elsewhere. We share these funds between developed and developing countries in recognition of the greater unmet need for family planning in the former and the greater CO2 emissions in the latter.

We acknowledge that the carbon emission per capita in less developed countries is relatively low in comparison to that of the industrialised nations. People in the developing world will not continue to live in relative poverty indefinitely, however, and their growing economies will, inevitably, lead to greater emission per capita.

The evidence is now conclusive that the lower the rate of population growth, the faster a nation will develop. All development programmes will ultimately fail if human numbers, rich and poor, keep rising indefinitely on our fragile and finite planet. To quote former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "Population stabilization should become a priority for sustainable development".

For more information about our funding projects, go to Q13 in the Your Questions Answered section of this website.

Why PopOffsets?

Many organizations provide carbon offset schemes — some are more valid than others. Offsetting carbon by contributing to the building of a hydroelectric dam, for example, does not take into account the effect on wildlife habitat and other environmental impacts associated with the dam. Nor does it address increasing demand for energy due to population growth. The world population increases by almost 1.5 million every week and is forecast by the United Nations to grow to somewhere between 8.1 and 10.6 billion by 2050, depending on what we do before then.

PopOffsets is unique — we help you to offset your carbon footprint by helping others to avoid unplanned pregnancies and, incidentally, sending a strong message to decision-makers that it's time to address the population issue — wisely, democratically and compassionately!

"If we are to safeguard the planet for future generations, population must stop being the elephant in the room that no one talks about." - Population Matters patron Jonathan Porritt

See Your Questions Answered for more information.

How do I offset my carbon?

It’s simple – six steps to offsetting your carbon emissions:

  1. Click on individual’s obligation
  2. Either: You determine how much you offset:
    1. Enter the amount of carbon you wish to offset
    2. Enter the wording you want on your certificate (or leave blank) (eg. "To offset Summer Holiday 2009")
  3. Or: Use our calculator to generate the amount for you:
    1. Enter your country of residence - you will then see your country’s average annual per capita CO2 output (sourced from the United Nations Development Programme www.hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/data/climatechange/).
    2. Decide for how many people you wish to offset your CO2 emissions
    3. Decide what percentage of your CO2 emissions that you wish to offset (10-150%)
  4. Look at the monetary contribution required
  5. Enter email address to receive your PopOffsets Certificate, or leave blank if you wish
  6. Proceed to payment
Take me to the Carbon Calculator
"All environmental problems become harder — and ultimately impossible — to solve with ever more people." Sir David Attenborough on becoming a patron of Population Matters

Projects supported by PopOffsets

We have provided funding to the following projects:


World Vasectomy Day

More than 150 doctors in two dozen countries performed vasectomies on 18 October. The event was launched at the Royal Institute of Australia in Adelaide, where vasectomies were performed before a live audience. More than 1,000 were completed. PopOffsets also has given funds to support a "pop-up" vasectomy clinic in New York.


Brook Advisory Services

PopOffsets gave Brook a grant of £5,000 to develop and update a pocket-sized condom leaflet for young people in the UK. "Roll with It", Brook's popular picture-led leaflet, is distributed in schools, youth centres and sexual health clinics. It provides teenagers (14+) and young adults with fun and clear guidance on condom use.

Margaret Pyke

A grant was made to the Margaret Pyke Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health to support the development of an on-line counselling service for women considering intrauterine contraception. This allows women to receive preliminary advice on-line, freeing up professional staff time to provide in-depth individual counselling.


Population and Climate Change African Forum

PACCAF was formed at an East African regional conference in Kampala in 2010, bringing together climate and health NGOs from nine countries in the region, and now attracting interest from across the continent. PopOffsets provided funds to help establish a website.

PHE Ethiopia

PHE Ethiopia takes an integrated approach to development, addressing environmental, health and population issues together. It aims to reduce birth rates and thus improve maternal health, quality of life, resilience to climate change and development potential, and reduce carbon emissions and pressure on ecosystems. PopOffsets donated funds for contraceptive supplies and other expenses on the family planning side of PHE-E's activities.

Salama Soa (ReefDoctor) Project

Following this project's successful first year, PopOffsets made a grant so that ReefDoctor could continue their work of education and promotion of family planning in the coastal communities around Ranobe Bay in south west Madagascar.