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The Top Global Policy Challenges That Will Shape 2024

by Andrew Kaminsky, FiscalNote

Explore top global policy trends for 2024, including international conflicts, AI, clean energy growth, and data privacy. Gain insights from FiscalNote's experts to strategize effectively.

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With a growing number of international conflicts, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the climate crisis, policy and risk analysis are more crucial than ever for organizations of all sizes. That trend is expected to continue in 2024 and beyond.

We brought together some of FiscalNote’s top policy experts to tackle the pressing questions and concerns organizations have as they strategize for 2024.Here are some of the highlights from that recent webinar on the key global policy trends for 2024.

Global Conflicts Continue to Be Top of Mind

With no immediate end in sight to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, nor between Israel and Hamas, managing businesses and supply chains with exposure in those regions continues to be shrouded in uncertainty. The threat of those conflicts expanding is another worrying prospect.Understanding the risks, and the likelihood of those risks materializing, is vital for organizations to safeguard assets and supply in affected regions.

How conflicts might affect global energy prices raises another concern.“Another energy price shock would disrupt the downward trajectory of inflation, the downward trajectory of interest rates that we expect to see, and it would have an impact on global growth overall, with potential political implications,” said Martina Bozadzhieva, chief research officer at FrontierView.

Trade Turmoil Between Regional Powers

China continues to be a top policy concern, and the 2024 outlook presents a twist on trade with the Asian juggernaut.

China’s dominance of the clean energy market will be a difficult balancing act for its trade partners. With its near monopoly on rare earth minerals and renewable energy component manufacturing, many countries will attempt to balance domestic production with reliance on Chinese imports.

“It’s difficult if you are [the European Union] to maintain a single line on China,” explained Giles Alston, senior analyst at Oxford Analytica. “French car makers might be very happy for an EU investigation into Chinese subsidies for the auto sector, but if you're a German car maker with large markets in China, then I think you're much more wary about upsetting Beijing.”

Most countries will likely attempt to balance between the West and China. “Straddling that line between economic relations with China and security relations with the West is an issue that we're going to see becoming more important in the Asian region,” Alston said.

Clean Energy Policy Continues Growth

From carbon taxes and fossil fuel phase-outs to lithium mining and sustainable bonds, clean energy policies continue to grow and gain strength in all regions of the world.

Experts expect to see some significant policy developments in 2024 in Latin America.

“Hydrogen policies show up in Mexico and across the entire continent, but mostly in Brazil,” said Lucas Machado, global policy analyst for FiscalNote Professional Services. “In Brazil, there is a proposal for a constitutional amendment including tax incentives for green hydrogen in the Brazilian Constitution.”

Extracting lithium and other minerals critical to the low-carbon energy transition is also a top priority.

“There are other significant players in the [lithium] market in South America, especially Bolivia and Argentina, but Chile is better positioned to benefit from the surge in demand in the short to medium term,” Machado said.

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Data Privacy, Cybersecurity, & Artificial Intelligence

As the digital world continues to evolve, so do the policies that manage it.

“Countries like Japan are updating their cybersecurity guidelines as a priority. South Korea and Taiwan are raising the standards for data privacy. That is expected to continue into 2024,” said Daniel Pietikainen, global policy advisor at the FiscalNote Global Professional Services team in Brussels.

In Southeast Asia, countries are rushing to develop policies to define the rules of engagement as it relates to the online world.

Many countries are struggling to find a balance between ensuring safe and responsible use of artificial intelligence while promoting innovation.

While still being debated, the final version of the EU’s AI Act will have a major impact on how the rest of the world approaches AI legislation.

How Can Organizations Manage Key Policy Issues?

“It starts with really understanding where your key points of vulnerability are, and then building a set of hypotheses about what risks could materialize that would impact them,” Bozadzhieva said.

Using independent sources of analysis and forecasting, external policy experts can provide fresh insights and actionable advice that isn’t influenced by internal company bias or the opinions of internal executives.

“We found that the most successful analysis is structured so that the inputs can be outside the company, but the presentation is within a format that the C-suite can best use,” said Alston.

FiscalNote’s Professional Services team continues to provide organizations with the policy insights they need to navigate the key global uncertainties that lie ahead.

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