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.
The Influential Amici in Philip Morris v. Uruguay: A new role for intergovernmental organizations in investment treaty arbitration?
The role of amicus curiae briefs in the outcome of the Philip Morris v. Uruguay dispute suggests that intergovernmental organizations could play a more useful role in investment treaty arbitration.Read More
Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2017
Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship quarterly journal on international investment law and policy.Read More
A Risky Tango? Investment facilitation and the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires
Investment facilitation—if structured right—could reshape global investment law frameworks for the better. However, this solution-oriented cooperative approach is not well-suited for the WTO.Read More
Investment Laws of ASEAN Countries: A comparative review
This report compares the investment laws of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, focusing on basic questions relating to the function of investment laws in each country.Read More
Contracts for Sustainable Infrastructure: Ensuring the economic, social and environmental co-benefits of infrastructure investment projects
This report defines sustainable infrastructure, outlines its expected characteristics and co-benefits, and presents why governments must and how they can integrate sustainability into public–private partnerships (PPP) and other infrastructure contracts.Read More
Is “Moonlighting” a Problem? The role of ICJ judges in ISDS
Sitting judges of the International Court of Justice have worked as arbitrators in at least 90 investor–state dispute settlement cases. This commentary presents new data and examines the implications.Read More
Towards an Indicative List of FDI Sustainability Characteristics
Based on a review of 150 instruments, ranging from international investment agreements to codes of multinational enterprises, this paper identifies ten core characteristics of sustainable FDI and twenty emerging sustainable FDI characteristics widely accepted across ten stakeholder groupsRead More
Hunger Is On the Rise: Here are three ways to stop it
Hunger levels are rising. Carin Smaller explores how technology could help tackle climate change and end hunger.Read More
China’s Largest Arbitration Institution Adopts its First Investment Arbitration Rules
China’s new rules for investment arbitration are not yet publicly available in English. We present an advanced draft of the rules, and explain why they matter.Read More
Assessing the Impacts of Investment Treaties: Overview of the evidence
Investment treaties grant powerful legal rights to foreign investors. Foreign investors’ ability to frame plausible multimillion-dollar claims against a wide range of host government actions—and the fact that these claims are adjudicated through a system of private arbitration—has made investment treaties controversial. This scoping study seeks to provide an overview and assessment of existing evidence of investment treaties’ impacts.Read More