Insights

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Indonesia’s omnibus bill: controversies and key implications

General Policy

Brigitta Kinadi
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Senior Associate Brigitta Kinadi is joined by Kevin O’Rourke, Indonesia political risk analyst and writer of the Reformasi weekly newsletter. They discuss the major changes and repercussions of the recently passed omnibus bill in Indonesia that primarily aims to create jobs and boost investment in the country.

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Dombrovskis and trade: strategic enabler?

Trade & Manufacturing

Alessandro Gangarossa
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The European Commission’s executive vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, has now formally taken on his new responsibilities as trade commissioner. His appointment raises the trade portfolio to the same level as the executive vice presidencies leading on the green and digital transitions. EU trade policy will be seen as strategically instrumental to deliver on the…

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Is an EU-wide ban on petrol and diesel cars imminent?

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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A decision is imminent on whether the UK will bring forward its phase-out date for vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) from 2035 to 2030 – in itself already a radically different position than this time last year where the phase-out date was set at 2040. Pressure is mounting from all sides as without this decision, the UK stands no chance of meeting its net…

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Permanent change in the concrete jungle

General Policy

Tom King
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New York City occupies a space like no other in the modern Western mind. Its liminal status, halfway between imagination and reality, has been entrenched through decades of cultural saturation. Coming to the city for the first time, you feel you have already been there; its sights and sounds are already familiar, a composite of scenes from half-remembered TV shows and…

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General Politics

The bigger question behind the right to work from home

General Politics

Stephen Adams
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The German coalition government has confirmed that it plans to push ahead with plans to give workers a legal right to work from home. This idea was floated back in the Spring when lockdowns began, and some unions began to advocate a framework that would prevent employers hurrying people back into offices. There is still a lot we don’t know about the German law, including…

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Does the election actually matter for the US energy transition?

Energy & Commodities

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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There is no doubt that the US will be key to global decarbonisation and for the energy sector, the upcoming American elections in November will be a turning point. While it is clear that a returned President Trump would not actively seek to reduce emissions in a second term, net-zero expectations from other major states have nevertheless moved ahead without his version of…

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Boohoo's troubles: ESG cannot be ignored

Sustainability

Michaela Smart
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Worker exploitation and poor labour conditions have long been a major problem for the fashion supply chain. Advocates have been campaigning for better conditions for years, but the Boohoo scandal in its UK factories this summer was a salutary reminder that this is not a problem confined to emerging economies.

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Brexit: deal, no deal, bad no deal

General Policy

Denzil Davidson
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It has become something of a ritual in the past three months for political leaders on both sides of the Channel to urge the UK’s and EU’s negotiators to work “intensively” to resolve the Brexit impasse. Following Saturday’s call between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen they are to work intensively again. But intensity of…

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An unlikely Trans-Pacific alliance? The UK’s case for CPTPP membership

Trade & Manufacturing

Elly Darkin
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When the UK and Japan finalised their new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) this month, Tokyo made a point of insisting that the agreement was a stepping-stone to UK accession to the CPTPP, or Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Joining the Asia-Pacific trade deal - which includes Japan, Australia and Canada among others - has long been a…

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Uber survives to fight another day in London, but for how long?

General Policy

Max von Thun
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Defying expectations that it would be banned from the city entirely, yesterday Uber won an appeal at a London court enabling it to continue operating in the British capital. While acknowledging Uber’s historical failings, the court argued that the ride-hailing platform was “fit and proper” to continue serving customers in London, subject to fulfilling certain conditions…

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General Politics

The centre loses – again: three lessons from Italy’s ballot box results

General Politics

Alessandro Gangarossa
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Last week Italy overwhelmingly approved proposals to reduce the size of its parliament with a 70%-30% referendum vote. Six major regions also elected local governments, which yield real power in Italy. These delivered a tie between the centre-left coalition and the right-of-centre bloc, each securing three regions. The elections and the referendum offered almost the…

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Is the UK Government's use of algorithms missing the beat?

TMT

Alessandra Baldacchino
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The pressure on governments to cut costs and increase efficiency in core governance functions is set to increase. In the UK, the covid-19 pandemic has brought a huge expansion of public spending, while at the same time posing challenges to how public services are delivered.

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Success at COP26: four issues to watch from GC's experts

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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We hear from four of our climate and energy experts on key issues that will impact the success or failure of COP26: China's climate action policies; a shift from mitigation to resilience and adaptation in sustainability efforts; the Paris Agreement's controversial global carbon market; and how different US climate policy may look depending on the eleciton results.

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The future of the filibuster: will Supreme Court fight open the floodgates?

General Policy

Miranda Lutz
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The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on 18 September has renewed the debate over filling seats on the High Court in an election year. By extension, it has sparked a similarly contentious discussion over the Senate filibuster, a legislative tactic that can be deployed by the minority party to prevent the majority party from passing legislation. If…

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The business case for net-zero

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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The last six months have seen several large companies from a range of sectors announce net-zero targets for GHG emissions. Visa, Volvo, Apple and others have all lead the way, and even banks like Credit Suisse have been changing their lending practices based on a borrower’s emissions. Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Repsol and Total are seeking to reduce their emissions by one…

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Reforms to planning in a pandemic will prove hard to deliver

General Policy

Alex Dawson
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When Boris Johnson relaunched his domestic agenda and signalled the end of England’s national lockdown In June, he placed planning reform at the centre of his plans to level-up the country and build a “new deal for Britain”. His pledge to launch the most radical reforms of England’s planning system since the second world war was followed by a consultation on a new zonal…

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Europe and the race to roll out 5G: a report from GC and the ERT

TMT

Franck Thomas
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The European Roundtable for Industry (ERT) have partnered with Global Counsel to produce a report on the state of 5G network rollouts across the continent. The review compares nationwide efforts with those of other countries around the world, and shows a lag in the European projects compared to their US and Asian counterparts.

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Despite the fanfare, politicians and regulators may yet have something to say about Nvidia’s takeover of Arm

TMT

Max von Thun
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The planned takeover of semiconductor design firm Arm has been the talk of the town in recent days. The proposed deal between Arm’s owner Softbank and US company Nvidia puts a $40 bn price tag on the leading UK-based tech company and would be the largest ever M&A transaction in the history of the semiconductor industry. But despite the fanfare, the transaction looks…

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