IMO CARES (Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping) is expected to be a long-term programme with the objective to accelerate demonstration of green technologies and their deployment globally in a manner that facilitates blue economic growth in developing regions. IMO CARES aims to coordinate and link the various global initiatives together, such as Research and Development Centres (R&D Centres), Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs), pilot technology demonstration projects as well as green financing initiatives which will accelerate the decarbonization process of the maritime sector in developing countries, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The IMO CARES Foundation Project

The 9-month preparatory phase of the IMO CARES project (IMO CARES Foundation Project) is funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will undertake all the preparatory activities to develop and design this long-term global programme (IMO CARES), including central coordination and a knowledge partnership mechanism to support the programme. Consultations during the Foundation Project will identify various key stakeholders such as donors to CARES full-size programme, regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre’s (MTCCs), decarbonization R&D Centres, Global Industry Alliances, financial institutions, etc. who could be part of a future long-term IMO CARES programme, which will take a key role for a coordinated global effort to accelerate demonstration of green technologies and their deployment globally.

The Foundation Project will undertake regional and global consultation workshops to design the key elements and framework of this global programme. Since IMO established the MTCCs in 5 regions (Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific) under the EU-IMO GMN project, they have demonstrated a strategic role in making significant progress in the respective regions in the coordination of technology-related pilot demonstration projects.  There might be a need to expand this global network to other sub-regions, therefore the IMO CARES Foundation Project will also study the feasibility of expanding IMO’s MTCCs into other regions.

Key goals of the Foundation Project

  • Design a long-term technology cooperation and capacity building programme focusing on the needs of developing countries, SIDS and LDCs, that will support the IMO GHG Strategy;
  • Engage with key stakeholders to support the long-term CARES programme;
  • Identify demonstration projects dealing with new technologies and alternative fuels that can be implemented through MTCCs and other key parts of the global partnership mechanism, with the help of International Financial Institutions and the private sector;
  • Define capacity building activities that are needed to accelerate the uptake of appropriate technologies and alternative fuels by the industry, especially in developing countries and, particularly, in SIDS and LDCs.

IMO CARES and Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a shared blueprint for prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action in a global partnership. Among the SDGs, SDG 13 (Climate Action) is central to IMO CARES, but the work of IMO and IMO CARES can also be linked to other SDGs, as can be seen below.

For more information on the Project, please contact Mr. Anton Rhodes, IMO CARES’ Project Manager at

IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping – IMO CARES – short video.


UPDATE 12 September 2022:

The foundation phase of a project to bring stakeholders together from the global north and global south to tackle maritime emissions is moving towards its final stages, following a series of technical workshops across the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific. IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping (IMO CARES) will support coordination to accelerate demonstration of green technologies and their deployment globally in a manner that facilitates blue economic growth in developing regions.

The preparatory phase of IMO CARES is funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and undertakes all the preparatory activities to develop and design a sustainable global CARES programme, which is expected to be a long-term initiative.

As part of the foundation phase, workshops were organized between June and August in collaboration with Maritime Technology Cooperation Centers for Caribbean, Africa and Pacific, part of a global network of MTCCs. Gathering feedback from stakeholders in the respective regions was a major step towards the establishment of a multi-stakeholder coalition with a view to the launch of the full IMO CARES Programme in 2023. Workshop reports can be found here. 

Building on from the success of the workshops, meetings were undertaken with R&D Centres, International financial institutions, UN agencies and others to identify their needs and how stakeholders might collaborate under an IMO CARES framework.


UPDATE 20 November 2022:

COP 27 MTCC Africa/IMO CARES side event

The 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) is the highest profile international event dedicated to fighting global climate change. MTCC Africa and the IMO Cares Project showcased on-site session titled “Mobilizing global support for green maritime transition in Africa”, on 16 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh.

Developing countries are particularly looking to maximise key opportunities arising from decarbonized shipping. A COP 27 side event, organized by MTCC Africa and the IMO Cares Project in collaboration with OceanHub Africa, explored opportunities to strengthen collaboration in decarbonization efforts across and beyond the maritime industry. Speakers from organizations including MTCC Africa, IMO, OceanHub Africa, African Development Bank, International Chamber of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register and West Africa Alliance on Carbon Market and Climate Finance discussed ways to bring all the decarbonization stakeholders and initiatives together and create an inclusive environment aimed at encouraging closer collaboration and partnerships.

The IMO Cares Project aims to create a global cooperation framework that encourages stakeholders to work on the same challenges and find solutions that are mutually beneficial, said Petra Ahari, IMO Cares Project. “Technology deployment is a key area and we need to look at how we can share best practices and how we can connect the technological knowledge of the North with the South, especially Africa,” said Gyorgyi Gurban, the IMO’s head of project implementation.

All speakers agreed on the need for collaboration and cooperation in the decarbonization journey and in promoting a just and equitable transition to zero-carbon shipping, leaving no one behind.