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Without investment, sustainable development is impossible. 

Investment is critical for sustainable development, which requires fundamental changes in how we produce, distribute and dispose of goods. Today, this kind of change must come mainly through investment in new technologies and new processes that can replace unsustainable practices. In developing countries, where domestic sources of capital are scarce, foreign direct investment plays a significant role.

But not all investment leads to sustainable development, and not all of the global rules and institutions relating to international investment have been conceived through a sustainable development lens. IISD's work on investment and sustainable development focuses on this critical linkage, and provides new approaches to ensure that investment law and policy will make a positive contribution to sustainable development. In particular, we examine how the rules and institutions that govern international investment flows can be improved to help developing countries attract the sort of investment that promotes sustainable development.

  • Blog
    Farmland Investments Are Finding their Way to International Arbitration

    Farmland Investments Are Finding their Way to International Arbitration

    A claim registered by a Swedish investor against the Tanzanian government for revoking a land title amid concerns over the impact on local communities and a wildlife sanctuary is the first known investor-state dispute against a government linked to the so-called “land grab” phenomenon, which arose out of the 2008 food crisis.

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  • Report
    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Lessons from international accountability mechanisms

    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Lessons from international accountability mechanisms

    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Results of an Expert Meeting held in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2017.

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  • Commentary
    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Fiftieth Session, Vienna, July 3-21, 2017: Submission by IISD regarding the reform of investment-related dispute settlement

    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Fiftieth Session, Vienna, July 3-21, 2017: Submission by IISD regarding the reform of investment-related dispute settlement

    IISD's participation in the multilateral process in UNCITRAL is aimed at promoting the much-needed development of a comprehensive and inclusive investment-related dispute settlement mechanism.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2017

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2017

    Investment Treaty News is IISD’s flagship quarterly journal on international investment law and policy.

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  • Blog
    Why We Need a

    Why We Need a "Comprehensive and Inclusive" Investment-Related Dispute Settlement Mechanism

    If investment-related dispute settlement mechanisms at the international level were to be built anew, what should they look like?

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  • Blog
    Can Investor-State Dispute Settlement Be Good for the Environment?

    Can Investor-State Dispute Settlement Be Good for the Environment?

    Renewable energy investors have been using investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms to fight cuts to subsidies in Europe, but this short-term gain may hinder states in their broader pursuit of environmental objectives like addressing climate change and pollution.

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  • Commentary
    Reply to the European Commission’s Public consultation on a multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution

    Reply to the European Commission’s Public consultation on a multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution

    On December 21, 2016 the European Commission launched a public consultation to gather views on options for a multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution. This commentary outlines IISD's reaction.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017

    Investment Treaty News is IISD’s flagship quarterly journal on international investment law and policy.

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  • Best Practices
    IISD Best Practices Series: The Most-Favoured-Nation Clause in Investment Treaties

    IISD Best Practices Series: The Most-Favoured-Nation Clause in Investment Treaties

    This IISD Best Practices paper studies the most-favoured-nation (MFN) clause in investment treaties and its interpretation by arbitral tribunals, drawing lessons for states.

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  • Best Practices
    IISD Best Practices Series: Exhaustion of Local Remedies in International Investment Law

    IISD Best Practices Series: Exhaustion of Local Remedies in International Investment Law

    Part of IISD’s Best Practices Series, this advisory bulletin reviews state-of-the-art options and approaches to the exhaustion of local remedies requirement in international investment law.

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