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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.

  • Briefing Note
    Private Investments and Agriculture: The importance of integrating sustainability into planning and implementation

    Private Investments and Agriculture: The importance of integrating sustainability into planning and implementation

    Recently, we have seen an increase in large-scale investment into agriculture. An important policy question is to what extent these large-scale agricultural investment contribute to improving local livelihoods, as well as economic and environmental conditions.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016

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

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  • Report
    Mining a Mirage? Reassessing the shared-value paradigm in light of the technological advances in the mining sector

    Mining a Mirage? Reassessing the shared-value paradigm in light of the technological advances in the mining sector

    This report uses real-world mining data to estimate the impacts of new technologies on employment and employment-related procurement, which drive major benefits in host countries.

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  • Report
    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Towards an inclusive multilateral approach

    Investment-Related Dispute Settlement: Towards an inclusive multilateral approach

    This document outlines results from an IISD expert meeting discussing investment-related dispute settledment which was held in Montreux, Switzerland, May 23–24, 2016

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  • Briefing Note
    Ending Hunger: What would it cost?

    Ending Hunger: What would it cost?

    The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the International Food Policy Research Institute joined forces to estimate what it would cost to end hunger, and the contribution that donors need to make. 

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  • Blog
    A Sliver of Light in a Controversial Nuclear Power Arbitration

    A Sliver of Light in a Controversial Nuclear Power Arbitration

    A phase-out of nuclear power has triggered a controversial legal dispute with Vattenfall, a Swedish state-owned energy company, which operated and owned two nuclear reactors. The legal proceedings have so far been highly secrete, but that is changing with a decision to open up the hearings to the public. 

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 3, August 2016

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 3, August 2016

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

    Read More
  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 2, May 2016

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly (ITN), Volume 7, Issue 2, May 2016

    Investment Treaty News (ITN), published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), is a quarterly journal on international investment law and policy and sustainable development.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2016

    Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2016

    In this issue: Is investor-state dispute settlement legal under EU Law?

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  • Report
    Sustainability Impacts of Chinese Outward Direct Investment: A review of the literature

    Sustainability Impacts of Chinese Outward Direct Investment: A review of the literature

    This literature review study has been developed in support of the project on Promoting Sustainable Development of Chinese Enterprises for “Going Out,” in order to accelerate the pace of “going out responsibly” as well as to cultivate a group of world-class responsible multinational corporations.

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