The travel trade should work with carbon-offsetting companies that focus on how they are spending the money on the ground, according to Exodus managing director Peter Burrell.

With consumers still needing to be convinced of the value of carbon offsetting, any payments at all are worthwhile, even if they do not fully reflect the true cost of the damage being done, he said.

But the trade should ensure the money is spent on effective projects with an immediate impact on the ground to guarantee value for money.

Burrell, whose tour operator uses the company Travel Industry Carbon Offset Service, said: “We need to encourage more customers to take carbon offsetting up. Charging even a token fee like £1.50 at least improves the take-up rate.

“It’s where the money is spent that’s most important and companies should look at the immediate effect their money is having on the ground now rather than looking at schemes which involve trading of carbon futures.”