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IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping (IMO CARES) Launch

In September 2021, H.E. Saleh Al Jasser Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics met with IMO Secretary General Mr. Kittack Lim and signed the IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping (IMO CARES).This was followed by the launch of the prepatory phase of the IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping (IMO CARES) on April 2nd 2022 at the IMO-Singapore Future of Shipping Conference during Singapore Maritime Week 2022.The IMO CARES Foundation Project, financed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will undertake all the preparatory activities to develop and design the long-term global programme.

During the preparatory phase, regional and global consultation workshops will be organized to help design the key elements and foundational framework of the global programme focused on technology cooperation and capacity building. Furthermore, the preparatory project will engage key stakeholders to participate in the long-term IMO CARES programme. Potential stakeholders include Governments, donors, maritime technology cooperation centres, decarbonization R&D centres, Global Industry Alliance’s, financial institutions, and more.

Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the International Maritime Organization, H.E. Eng. Essam Alammari spoke at the launch of IMO CARES and discussed the strides that Saudi Arabia is making in innovation and investment in their maritime affairs. The Kingdom has invested significantly in alternative low and zero emission fuel sources and seeks to be a global leader in advanced technologies in this sector to support global uptake. These include the recent announcements in 2021 of the Saudi Green Initiative, the Middle East Green Initiatives, as well as a 5bn investment in green hydrogen in NEOM and over 7bn by the OGCI in blue hydrogen and other low carbon fuels. He noted how collective action and ambitious targets are important to confronting climate.

The IMO’s theme for 2022 is “New technologies for greener shipping” and the IMO CARES Foundation Project does just that by prioritizing research and development and transmission of these technologies across the international maritime sphere. Eng. Essam Al Ammari went onto to discuss the essential nature of technological innovation and investment for ground-breaking technologies in order to shape change. He further elaborated that it is essential to include both the Global North and South to ensure no one is left behind in the transition toward low carbon technologies.

The IMO- Coordinated Action for the Reduction of Emissions from Shipping - CARES project is the first step in coordinating the myriad of global initiatives, as well as establishing a strategic framework to connect the R+D initiatives in Global North and South to promote inclusive innovation and knowledge partnerships through collaboration among member States, UN agencies, financial institutions, NGOs and the private sector. IMO CARES aims to accelerate the demonstration of green technologies and their deployment globally, in a manner that facilitates blue economic growth in developing regions through innovation, R&D, knowledge transfer, technology diffusion and eventually technology uptake by the industry. This also creates new technology markets in developing regions and as such markets grow the cost of such technologies come down too. This is only one step on a long road towards decarbonisation but in terms of fostering a clear direction for R+D, innovation and technology transfer. Eng. Essam Al Ammari also encouraged more international engagement to support the implementation of this strategic global initiative upon the completion of the design phase.

During the launch ceremony, Dr. Jose Matheickal, Chief, Department of Projects and Partnerships of IMO, stated that the , “IMO CARES will provide an excellent platform to promote inclusive innovation and innovation is key to addressing many of the challenges that we face to reduce emissions from shipping. We look forward to the extensive consultations with interested partners from both Global North and Global South, as both sides can gain significantly from this initiative by way of connecting R&D initiatives as well as demonstrating innovative technology solutions through such partnerships.

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