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The federal Liberals made election promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Kyoto accord obligations, but so far have done little but prolong consultations, Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party Leader, charged yesterday.

The government has been talking for more than two years about requiring large Canadian industries to reduce their emissions by 15 per cent, but legislation to make those cuts mandatory has yet to be introduced.

"If this issue is not in the Throne Speech [on Oct. 5] that is a slap in the face to virtually every Canadian who cares about the environment," Mr. Layton said during a morning press conference.

"The Liberals ran all kinds of advertising in the election campaign scaring people into voting for them because [Conservative Leader]Stephen Harper said he would tear up the Kyoto accord. What they didn't point out is that the Liberals intended to do absolutely nothing to achieve the accord. And that's what we've seen."

Mr. Layton said he is "extremely disturbed" by Environment Minister Stéphane Dion's suggestions that more consultation is required before the legislation on greenhouse gas emissions can be introduced.

"That is outrageous. We're seeing more progressive moves right now from the President of Russia," Mr. Layton said.

In fact, more than 30 discussion papers have been prepared regarding reductions for the so-called "large final emitters" -- roughly 700 of Canada's largest companies in sectors such as mining, electricity generation, petroleum and manufacturing.

Mr. Dion told a Calgary audience this month that he planned to sit down with individual industries and look for new approaches that would have realistic but ambitious time frames for meeting objectives on greenhouse gas reduction.

He said yesterday that he does not know whether the Throne Speech will mention proposed legislation, but added, "We have committed to respect our Kyoto commitments, including the large emitters." He said he plans to work with Natural Resources Minister John Efford to set a course that is agreeable to environmentalists and industry.