In recent years, significant steps have been taken to implement regulations that limit sulphur emissions in shipping.

The Trident Alliance, the shipping industry initiative for robust enforcement of maritime sulphur regulations, will hold an exploratory meeting in Copenhagen on 28 May 2014.

Initially introduced at the Economist's World Ocean Summit earlier this year, the Trident Alliance initiative has garnered significant interest from ship owners and operators around the world, as well as from other members of the ocean community. Interested parties are now invited to take part in an exploratory meeting to formally establish the Trident Alliance. The meeting will include setting out the terms of reference and formally defining the objectives for the alliance.

In recent years, significant steps have been taken to implement regulations that limit sulphur emissions in shipping. While necessary, these regulations pose a significant cost and compliance challenge to the shipping industry. If the regulations are robustly implemented then compliance will follow and competition will not be distorted. However, when enforcement is weak it can be tempting for some to cut corners on compliance. Regulations will therefore not have the intended effect of protecting the environment and human health. Also, responsible shipping companies are put at a disadvantage relative to those who are intentionally non-compliant.

WWL has long been highly engaged in the public debate around sulphur regulations, and has raised the issues the current lack of enforcement presents in several forums. In his talks with shipping companies, regulators, ports and environmental organisations, Vice President Environment for WWL Roger Strevens found widespread support for both robust enforcement within the industry and for taking a collaborative approach to bring it about. To build on this momentum and ensure that the ideas generated had a platform from which to grow, the concept of the Trident Alliance came into being.

The Trident Alliance will be a coalition of shipping owners and operators who share a common interest in robust enforcement of maritime sulphur regulation and are willing to collaborate to help bring it about. The alliance will partner with other stakeholder groups who share the interest in robust enforcement, to collaborate on initiatives that support this objective.