Thursday, November 7, 2002 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

Kyoto consultations have cost $22.3m since 1998

By The Canadian Press

The federal government has spent $22.3 million on consultations related to the Kyoto protocol since 1998, according to figures obtained by Liberal Senator Mira Spivak.

Spivak, a Kyoto backer, requested the figures after the Alberta government alleged Ottawa had not conducted meaningful consultations on how to comply with the Kyoto climate accord.

The breakdown, provided by Spivak's office Wednesday, is as follows:

- $6.07 million since 1998 for the National Climate Change Secretariat, which co-ordinates federal-provincial consultations and has managed nine meetings of energy and environment ministers. Alberta has been a steady participant.

- $13.93 million for activities of 16 working groups, known as issues tables, to look at how different economic sectors could contribute to meeting Kyoto objectives.

- $400,000 for cross-country consultations seeking input into a proposed national climate change business plan. About 400 groups and individuals took part.

- $650,000 for national workshops in 14 cities, intended to get input from interested groups on a federal discussion paper on Canada's contribution to addressing climate change.

- $1.25 million for consultations on a domestic emissions trading system, conducted by the National Round Table on Environment and the Economy.

Meanwhile, the University of Alberta has agreed to jointly sponsor a forum with Ottawa on the controversial treaty.

Earlier this week university officials decided to withdraw from the event after federal Environment Minister David Anderson refused to include anti-Kyoto speakers on the panel.

Under attack in question period Wednesday, Anderson told Parliament he is now willing to allow the university to name whomever they wish to speak at the forum, scheduled for Tuesday.

Copyright 2002 The Halifax Herald Limited