Insights

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E-scooters: What are they good for?

TMT

Megan Stagman
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In July 2020, the UK government authorised a series of pilot projects that saw e-scooters proliferate across the country. What had hitherto been a niche and novel technology quickly became commonplace. Yet in spite of their newfound prevalence, the question which policymakers are still asking a year and a half later is: what are e-scooters actually for, and who are they…

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Does the UK government ‘get’ science?

Health and Life Sciences

Mark Loughridge
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Mark Loughridge, Dr Rupert Lewis, Andrew Croydon and Miranda Lutz discuss the ‘science gap’ between government and scientists.

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Caught in the crosshairs: The Middle East and the US-China Cold War

General Policy

Ahmed Helal
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On January 10th, the foreign ministers of four Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, concluded a first-of-its-kind Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) visit to China to consolidate ties with Beijing. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted his Gulf counterparts in the city of Wuxi in eastern China and subsequently hosted the foreign ministers of Turkey and…

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Crypto mining could give orphaned natural gas wells a new lease on life

General Policy

Ben Bassett
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The US oil and gas industry is no stranger to criticism from Washington, and the Biden administration has only ramped up the inflammatory attacks. At a time where the industry is desperate for a narrative change, an unlikely partner has emerged – crypto miners. For both industries, which have been unable to free themselves from the shackles of political scrutiny, this…

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Stuck in the middle: the MENA perspective on US-China relations

General Policy

Ahmed Helal
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This episode is part of our annual conference 'The Politics of'. This year's edition, 'The Politics of Decoupling', will present a global perspective on China’s industrial and political strategy for the next decade, and how it will affect its relationship with western-aligned countries.

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Is climate delay the new climate denial?

Sustainability

Lily-Ann Peterson
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Whilst the number of companies and governments announcing net-zero pledges has soared over the past year, so too has scrutiny over the contents of these commitments and their founding intentions. Despite the private sector taking an unprecedented role at COP26, there is growing concern that there is no way to assess the quality and credibility of firms’ green commitments,…

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Lithium: the rare mineral that will determine the United States’ green future

TMT

Ben Bassett
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Lithium’s role in the United States’ renewable energy transition and technological advancements is undeniable. Lithium is crucial to a successful increase in electric vehicle production that is necessary to meet net-zero goals, while the same can be said for meeting the ever-growing demand for wearable technology and augmented reality and virtual reality. However,…

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Top in Tech: regulating the gig economy, an unusual EU Council presidency

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Conan D'Arcy
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‘Top in tech’ is a monthly episode from the GC tech policy team. Each month, the team lift the lid on the latest in Europe’s ‘techlash’, identifying where the debate is heading in London and Brussels, the politics behind it, and what this might mean for the apps and online services we use every day.

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Jostling for position – Is there substance to the Africa summits?

General Policy

Isabelle Trick
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In late November, China’s flagship Africa summit, the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) took place in Senegal. In 2022, the EU, the US, Russia, and Japan have all planned major Africa-focused summits. This clustering of Africa + 1 summits has given rise to debates about whether we are witnessing a new intensification of foreign interest in the continent. But is…

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Regulating the metaverse

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Conan D'Arcy
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“The metaverse will present new markets and a range of different businesses. There will be a marketplace where someone may have a dominant position.” The comment this week from European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager marks a remarkable transformation in the metaverse from being a concept few in Brussels had heard of four months ago to an emerging priority in…

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Waste policy: no longer kicked to the kerb

Sustainability

Charley Roberts
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The covid-19 pandemic has created a hidden problem: the sheer volume of waste generated in response to the health crisis. The environmental cost of covid-19 has been enormous, with an estimated 25,000 tonnes of covid-19 PPE alone having entered the ocean. 

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US data brokers on notice as Congress and regulators sharpen their focus on sector

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Miranda Lutz
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Online clicks and webpage visits have been tracked for decades; now data collection has leapt from the screen to the physical world. In 2020, there were more than 11 bn connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, from appliances to wearable health monitors. That figure is projected to more than double to 27 bn by 2025, according to IoT Analytics. Each one of these devices…

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The geopolitics of development spending

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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Jon Garvie, Miranda Lutz, Stephen Adams and Jens Presthus take a deep-dive into the growing prominence of infrastructure spending, exploring how and why it is becoming a geopolitical fault-line between the West and China.

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GC's 2021 Reading List

General Policy

Alex Dawson
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At the end of each year, the Global Counsel team has a tradition of sharing among ourselves a selection of our favourite articles, books and podcasts. We also share the list with our network in what has become a staple of GC holiday communications. Some of this informs our day jobs, but most of it can also be filed against the (very) interesting times we live in.

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Examining the UK-Aus FTA and the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement

Trade & Manufacturing

Elly Darkin
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Stephen Adams and Elly Darkin unpack two new UK trade deals: the UK-Australia free trade agreement and the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement.

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Global Counsel Holiday Reading List 2021

General Policy

Global Counsel Holiday Reading List 2021
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At the end of each year, the Global Counsel team has a tradition of sharing among ourselves a selection of our favourite articles (or podcasts) from the past year for Christmas consumption. We also share the list with our network in what has become a staple of GC holiday communications. 

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General Politics

Any post-Frost return to ‘diplomacy’ will still leave UK business to fend for themselves in Brussels

General Politics

Tom White
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This week’s anniversary of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides a moment for firms to review operational adaptation to Brexit, planned and revised at speed as ‘no deal’ was (partially) avoided last Christmas Eve. However, Lord Frost’s dramatic resignation – and signs that power over EU relations could trickle back from Downing Street to the Foreign Office – is…

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General Politics

Politics on the pitch – how policymakers are using football to advance their agendas

General Politics

Nick Hendrix
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Football and politics have never been entirely separate, but recent developments in the EU and UK have highlighted the utility of the beautiful game to lawmakers and legislators. The European Super League (ESL) exposed a fissure between football’s stakeholders and shareholders and served as a catalyst for politicians to intervene. This culminated in the adoption of the EU…

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