A group of 35 European maritime businesses has called on European Union (EU) policy-makers to close loopholes in draft climate laws for shipping or risk undermining the industry’s clean transition.

The companies demand EU legislators lower the gross tonnage threshold to 400 gt, from 5,000 gt, and include offshore and service vessels in the Emissions Trading System (ETS) in a joint letter published by NGO Transport & Environment.

The moves would help ensure that investments made in green technologies for smaller vessels are protected and can pave the way for commercialisation of bigger projects, while empowering Europe’s green shipping businesses, they said.

The proposals would also strengthen the FuelEU Maritime and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification proposals, they added.

Signatories to the letter include ABB, Advanced Wing Systems, Amon Maritime, Ballard Power Systems, EcoClipper, Finocean, Future Proof Shipping, Hyseas Energy, Navtek, Neoline Developpement, Sailcargo, Samskip, Sea Europe, Shift Clean Energy, Stadt Sjotransport, Sustainable Ships, Teco 2030, Ula Ship Management and Viridis Bulk Carriers among others.

The EU is moving forward with regulating global shipping as part of its major climate and energy strategy aimed at slashing the block’s emissions by 55% by 2030.

The EU ETS is currently being negotiated in ‘trialogues’ by the European Commission, European Parliament and national governments.

The European Parliament is expected to adopt its position FuelEU Maritime in mid-October before the negotiations can move into trialogues between the three institutions.

The letter was published together with an analysis of EU institutions’ shipping ETS positions.