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In today's Morning Brief:

New rules for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

The Commission has proposed yesterday a new set of rules and actions to encourage excellence and trust in AI. The new AI regulation will make sure that Europeans can trust what AI has to offer, and will include proportionate and flexible rules that address specific risks posed by AI systems. The risks are listed as follows.

Unacceptable risk (banned AI systems): AI systems considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people, such as AI systems or applications that manipulate human behaviour to circumvent users’ free will and systems that allow ‘social scoring’ by governments.

High-risk systems: AI systems used for critical infrastructures (e.g. transport); educational or vocational training, that may determine the access to education and professional course of someone’s life (e.g. scoring of exams); safety components of products (e.g. AI application in robot-assisted surgery); Employment, workers management and access to self-employment (e.g. CV-sorting software for recruitment procedures); essential private and public services (e.g. credit scoring denying citizens opportunity to obtain a loan); law enforcement that may interfere with people’s fundamental rights (e.g. evaluation of the reliability of evidence); migration, asylum and border control management (e.g. verification of authenticity of travel documents); administration of justice and democratic processes (e.g. applying the law to a concrete set of facts).

The high-risk systems will have to undergo thorough risk assessment and adhere to strict obligations before going to market. Further information on the measures can be found here, and a Q&A on the new rules can be found here.


Sustainable Finance Taxonomy

As anticipated by a leak earlier this week, the Commission has yesterday adopted an ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to help improve the flow of money towards sustainable activities across the European Union. The package includes the EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act, which introduces the first set of technical screening criteria to define which activities contribute substantially to two of the environmental objectives under the Taxonomy Regulation, that is climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation. Here you will find the full text of the EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act, and here a series of Q&A about the Act. Once formally adopted, the EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act will be scrutinised by the European Parliament and the Council (four months and extendable once by two additional months).


More details on the new provisional agreement on the European Climate law

As reported in yesterday’s Morning Brief, the EU negotiators have struck a deal on the European Climate Law. We have now further details of the deal, which includes, in addition to the 2050 climate neutrality target, the following elements:

  • an ambitious 2030 climate target of at least 55% reduction of net emissions as compared to 1990, with clarity on the contribution of emission reductions and removals;
  • recognition of the need to enhance the EU’s carbon sink through a more ambitious LULUCF regulation, for which the Commission will make proposals in June 2021;
  • a process for setting a 2040 climate target, taking into account an indicative greenhouse gas budget for 2030-2050 to be published by the Commission;
  • a commitment to negative emissions after 2050;
  • the establishment of European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, that will provide independent scientific advice;
  • stronger provisions on adaptation to climate change;
  • strong coherence across Union policies with the climate neutrality objective;
  • a commitment to engage with sectors to prepare sector-specific roadmaps charting the path to climate neutrality in different areas of the economy.

For more information, see the EC page of the European Climate Law here.

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