MONTREAL OTTAWA Jan 11 Canadian auto industry
executives are asking government ministers on Wednesday to
mitigate the costs of reducing carbon emissions under a new
program designed to help fight climate change, two sources
familiar with the matter said.
The demand has taken on greater urgency with U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump's talk of rolling back
environmental regulations, which would subject automakers in
Canada to costs not imposed in the United States, the sources
At a meeting in Detroit on Wednesday, executives will urge
federal and Ontario government ministers to ensure that the
province's cap-and-trade program will not hurt the Canadian auto
industry's long-term competitiveness with U.S. rivals.
Under the program, which came into effect on Jan. 1,
companies that are the biggest polluters must buy permits if
they exceed set limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
Automakers and other large companies are exempt from the
plan until 2020 and some want that exemption to be extended, a
third source said. They also want federal and provincial
governments to share the cost of investments in new technology
that would cut emissions and energy consumption, the person
All three sources spoke on condition of anonymity before the
Canada's automakers, the country's largest exporters,
received a boost in 2016, after they agreed to C$2 billion ($1.5
billion) in investments during union negotiations.
"This could be more burdensome for manufacturers, if Canada
is doing cap-and-trade but Trump is cutting back regulations,"
said one of the sources.
Stephen Carlisle, managing director of General Motors Co
in Canada, said automakers are committed to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions, but described potential higher costs
from cap-and-trade after 2020 as "headwinds." He would like
governments to support automakers which invest in technological
improvements to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, which represents Canadian
autoworkers, noted a deal this week by the Ontario and Canadian
governments to defray up to 17 percent of Honda Motor Co's
C$492 million investment to modernize its Alliston
paint shop. The investment, which would reduce Honda's emissions
and energy costs, could serve as a model for other automakers,
The Honda investment "fits in well with the direction we're
going in," said Ontario Economy Minister Brad Duguid in an
interview on Tuesday.
Duguid said Ontario would ensure cap and trade is "done in a
way that they (companies) are not placed at a competitive
disadvantage with other jurisdictions."
($1 = 1.3182 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Richard Chang)