Ship owners and operators from the EU have joined hands to form a new alliance for enforcing maritime sulphur regulations in the region.

The new coalition, Trident Alliance, will pursue a range of different solution strategies to ensure the transparent enforcement of regulations using the skills and resources of its members.

The organisation will also partner with other groups that share its interest in the enforcement to collaborate on initiatives that support its objective.

Trident Alliance’s formation was negotiated by the representatives of a dozen shipping firms at a recent meeting in Copenhagen, hosted by Maersk Maritime Technology and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL ).

The additional members of the coalition comprise American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, Eukor Car Carriers , Höegh Autoliners, J Lauritzen, Rickmers-Linie, Stena , Torvald Klaveness, UECC and Unifeeder.

"None of us want to see this evolve into a coffee club; this is an initiative that will get the work done."

The initiative, which is open to all shipping companies, also received support from the EU’s Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, and the Danish Minister for the Environment, Kirsten Brosbol.

WWL Environment vice-president Roger Strevens has been elected as the chairman of the newly formed alliance.

Commenting on the collaboration, Strevens said: "The meeting in Copenhagen was highly constructive and we all agree that the Trident Alliance is the right way to handle this challenge."

"The public support and attention we received really added urgency and focused the discussion. None of us want to see this evolve into a coffee club; this is an initiative that will get the work done."

Although several regulations were enforced earlier to limit sulphur emissions from shipping, they did not have the intended effect of protecting the environment and human health, according to Trident Alliance.

"Already during its formation, the Trident Alliance has raised awareness of the current shortcomings of enforcement and related consequences, particularly in the European ECA. Now our work starts in earnest," Strevens added.