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Addressing Environmental Protection at IMO’s MEPC 80

The 80th session of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) focused primarily on the revised strategy for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, discussions also covered other significant topics, such as ballast water management, biofouling, the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), underwater radiated noise, and the implementation of guidelines on life cycle GHG intensity of marine fuels.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Guidelines evaluate GHG emissions throughout the life cycle of various fuels and energy sources used onboard ships. These guidelines encompass the entire fuel life cycle, from feedstock to bunkering, and incorporate aspects such as sustainability criteria for marine fuels. Ten specific aspects are currently included [GHG Carbon source; source of electricity and/or energy; carbon stock – Direct Land Use Change (DLUC); carbon stock – Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC); water; air; soil; and, waste and chemicals] with the potential for additional social and economic sustainability considerations in the future.

Additionally, the guidelines introduce a Fuel Lifecycle Label (FLL) to collect and convey relevant information for life cycle assessments of marine fuels and electricity supplied by onshore power sources.

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