Climate change policies should not become trade weapon - Stellantis CEO Tavares says

CES 2023, an annual consumer electronics trade show, in Las Vegas
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 5, 2023. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

MILAN, March 29 (Reuters) - Stellantis (STLAM.MI) CEO Carlos Tavares on Wednesday said climate change policies should not be used to influence global investment decisions.

He said such policies related to climate change should not put countries in competition with each other.

"Policies on climate change should not be a weapon to rebuild competitiveness in a global trade approach," the head of the carmaker said during Stellantis' Freedom of Mobility Forum.

The United States last year announced $369 billion in subsidies to support clean technologies and electric vehicles under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), while China has been giving local automakers incentives for local production of battery electric vehicles.

The European Union responded last month with its proposed Green Deal Industrial Plan, on concerns that the U.S. law could put companies based in Europe at a disadvantage and drive investments out of the region.


Tavares also said a final decision by EU countries on Tuesday to allow sales of new combustion engine cars that only run on e-fuels to continue after 2035, would not change Stellantis plans towards electrification.

Decisions leading to those plans were made in 2014-2015, well before European parliament started regulating, Tavares said, adding the company was "absolutely on time to deliver that electrified, clean mobility".

"E-fuels are going to be another technology direction that is going to be developed, the industry will have to demonstrate that this is carbon neutral," he said. "It just demonstrates that not everybody agrees with a dogmatic approach of this problem".

Stellantis' Freedom of Mobility Forum - which on Wednesday held its first annual session - was set up by Stellantis last year after the carmaker decided to leave European auto lobby group ACEA.

The forum, which has consultancy group Wavestone (WAVE.PA) as a neutral third-party facilitator, is designed to promote discussions with a wide range of stakeholders covering the problems and trends of mobility and their implications for global warming.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari and Gilles Guillaume, editing by Alvise Armellini and Jane Merriman

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