Knowledge Notes

UK Knowledge Collection | COP28, environmental claims, and the regulation of AI

Published on 1st Dec 2023

Welcome to this week's Knowledge Collection

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With COP28 now under way, our ESG round-up considers what businesses can expect from it and the major decisions likely to be made at the conference. We also look at the significant amendments to the UK's energy National Policy Statement announced in the chancellor's Autumn Statement, which the government hopes will support the drive to net zero targets.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has recently filed an external alert on plastic bottle recycling claims, illustrating the growing scrutiny of environmental claims within the EU. Our Regulatory Outlook covers, among other things, new guidelines for responsible investment approaches to avoid perceptions of greenwashing.

There has been a plethora of international announcements in relation to the regulation of artificial intelligence this autumn. December had been expected to see agreement on the EU's AI Act, as the Commission, the Council and the Parliament are in the final stages of agreeing its terms. But significant differences of opinion have emerged in relation to the regulation of foundation models. Our Insight discusses what progress has been made in relation to the various proposals and initiatives under discussion.

A new risk of criminal liability for corporate bodies and officers of an organisation has been created by the National Security Act. A number of new espionage offences created under the Act are likely to come into force in the spring. Our Insight looks at how businesses can take steps to reduce their risk, and later this month, our webinar on cross-border investigations discusses how businesses can best manage an investigation.

Our webinar on the status of cryptoasset regulation in the UK takes place next week, as the regime tightens and the Treasury has published proposals as to future regulation.


Regulatory Outlook

This month's edition includes coverage of the launch of two consultations under the Online Safety Act, the faltering progress of the EU's AI Act, and the launch of an "AI-Airlock" by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
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ESG Knowledge Update

This month our summary of ESG-related legal and regulatory developments and market news includes what to expect from COP28, publication of the long-awaited Sustainability Disclosure Requirements from the UK's financial regulator, and the EU taking a step towards agreeing the Right to Repair Directive.
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What is the latest on international, EU and UK initiatives to regulate artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence regulation is a "quick, quick, slow" process. Policymakers continue to debate how best to go about it and lawmakers continue to wrestle over new laws. What progress has been made since the summer?
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The BEUC pushes the European Commission to take action against misleading environmental claims

The accuracy of environmental claims being made by businesses remains a high priority issue for regulators in both the UK and the EU, as industry, consumer and public pressure on greenwashing continues to build.
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National Security Act 2023 creates new specific criminal liability risk for managers of businesses in UK

The National Security Act 2023 aims to combat espionage and malign foreign influence and introduces a new risk of criminal liability for senior managers of corporates and other organisations.
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Energy National Policy Statement enters new era in the UK

The government's Autumn Statement brought an array of planning updates as part of its drive to net zero, including on the energy National Policy Statement that sets out the "need case" for different technologies and infrastructure.
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Dipping into Data | Biometric Data

4 December | 16:00-16:30

The use of ID verification and recognition tools using biometric data are becoming more and more prevalent across a number of sectors and services. How can organisations use this data in compliance with data protection law?
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Eating Compliance for Breakfast | PFAS: regulation update and recent market insights

5 December | 09:00-09:30

A look at the current status of PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) regulations – also known as "forever chemicals" – in the UK and EU from a product liability and environmental law perspective and market responses to the increased regulation.
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Cryptoassets: UK legal and regulatory update

5 December | 15:00-16:00

An exploration of the latest legal and regulatory developments affecting cryptoassets in the UK and what can be expected in 2024 and beyond.
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Eating Compliance for Breakfast | Criminal investigations in a corporate environment

7 December | 09:00-09:30

Cross-border investigations, whether or not they involve an external agency, are complicated and can raise risks that are potentially business critical. Our experts from a number of jurisdictions analyse the risks and present tips.
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Consumer Credit Act Academy | Financial promotions and unpicking the APR

14 December| 09:30-10:30

The fourth instalment of our consumer credit series takes a closer look at financial promotions and unpicks annual percentage rates.
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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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