A cleaner and more equitable world will deliver real benefits for people and the planet. But everyone is not on a level playing field at the moment. And the pandemic has made things worse.
COVID-19 has shown how corrosive inequality is and how urgently we need to build more sustainable and inclusive economies. No country is immune.
IISD draws on three decades of international expertise to propose economic pathways that set the world on a sustainable trajectory.
Investment Law & Policy
How can we ensure developing economies attract international investment that promotes sustainable development?
Depending on how trade policy is designed and implemented, it can either advance or be a hindrance to sustainable, low-carbon development.
Standards and Value Chains
Voluntary sustainability standards contribute to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and gender equality.
Investment Policy Forum
IISD hosts the annual Investment Policy Forum, the world's only yearly assembly on investment negotiation exclusively for developing economy officials.
Investment Treaty News
IISD publishes Investment Treaty News, a quarterly journal offering news and analysis on the impacts of investment law and policy for sustainable development.
The Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi)
IISD developed the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) to demonstrate to governments, investors and citizens why sustainable assets can deliver better value for money and more attractive internal rates of return.
The Energy Charter Treaty
The Energy Charter Treaty is a regional investment agreement in the energy sector that has grown into an obstacle to ambitious climate policies. IISD has consistently promoted a coordinated EU withdrawal from the outdated treaty, which the European Commission now has proposed, and is leading the way on creating a sustainable international energy investment landscape in Europe and beyond.
Tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in Mining
Equipping resource-rich developing country governments with the knowledge, skills, and tools to optimize the financial benefits from mining.
State of Sustainability Initiatives
Credible and solution-oriented research, dialogue, and strategic advice for decision-makers about voluntary sustainability standards and other supportive initiatives.
Can a $20 billion bet wean Indonesia off coal?
Less than a year after it was announced, a $20-billion bet to wean Indonesia off coal is mired in controversies over financing and the construction of new plants to power industry. The Just Energy Transition Partnership for Indonesia was unveiled last November and follows a model first trialed in South Africa, with rich countries pledging funds for the developing world's energy transition.
Experts concerned over EU due diligence law's impact on Global South
Experts have welcomed the proposed EU law to hold companies accountable for adverse impacts along their entire value chain, but have also raised concerns about the negative impacts the new due diligence rules could have on economies of the Global South. The proposed corporate sustainability due diligence directive seeks to ensure that large EU companies and businesses operating in the EU identify, prevent, and mitigate their adverse impacts on human rights and the environment throughout their value chain. But the law has also raised concerns over the unintended consequences it could cause to economies in the global south.
Canada, a giant oil producer, urges others to end fossil fuel subsidies
Canada is pushing the United States and other major economies to follow through on pledges to phase out "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies, which have soared despite the growing threat of climate change. Such subsidies hit records last year, according to several watchdog groups, including one that estimated that major world economies—members of the G-20 cooperation forum—surpassed $1 trillion in subsidies for the first time in 2022. That’s a fourfold increase over subsidy levels in 2010, the year after G-20 nations agreed to phase out support for fossil fuels.
Carbon sequestration among a plethora of carbon delusions
A recent report sponsored by an environmental advocacy group and think tank, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, examined carbon capture and storage. The new research draws on available data from about 30 currently operating commercial carbon capture facilities globally, including a handful in Canada.
Analyzing the Systemic Impacts of Forest Landscape Restoration: The case of Viridis Terra in Peru
This Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) focuses on land restoration interventions in the Peruvian Andes and the socio-economic benefits for the community.
What happens to Canada after oil demand peaks?
What will the energy transition mean for Canada's oil and gas sectors, which have long been a powerhouse of the country's economy? Aaron Cosbey, a senior associate and economist at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, lays out what he sees happening to demand for fossil fuels in the next decade, and how the country can navigate the transition to minimize economic disruption.
Can the cotton industry protect its workforce in a changing climate?
Cotton is ubiquitous in human lives, with approximately half of all textiles made of the material, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development. But the sector's sustainability issues stand to be exacerbated by increased risk to extreme heat, drought, floods and wildfires already being caused by climate change, Forum for the Future warned in a 2021 report. Besides cutting yields, it will also affect the well-being of those involved in the supply chain.
Don’t write off the Just Energy Transition Partnership just yet
When it was announced at COP26 in 2021, South Africa's Just Energy Transition Partnership seemed to offer an answer to a weighty question: how can we not only usher in large-scale renewables investment into developing countries, but also rapidly wind down their coal sectors? However, in the nearly two years since the JETP was announced, critics have taken issue with everything from the way the JETP packages are funded to the pace at which they are being rolled out.
Other related topics
In a circular economy, products are designed, produced, and used to reduce waste and regenerate natural systems.
Sustainable finance has gained considerable traction in recent years, becoming a significant trend in the financial industry.
Infrastructure is the backbone of sustainable development and a powerful driver of economic activity.
Government purchasing power should be leveraged towards buying the most sustainable goods, services, and works.
By adopting sustainable practices, companies can gain a competitive edge, increase their market share, and boost shareholder value.