Submission to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Investment Agreements and Climate Change
Investment law and policy can play a significant role in either addressing—or exacerbating—some of the world’s greatest challenges, from climate change to inequality. In light of this, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has developed a work programme on “The Future of Investment Treaties,” which recognizes the need to reshape investment treaties so they facilitate rather than impede progress toward tackling these challenges.
As part of this work, OECD launched a public consultation in early 2022 to gather views from a wide range of stakeholders on how policy-makers can redesign investment treaties and policies in response to the escalating climate crisis. Government representatives will discuss the submissions received at the 7th annual OECD Investment Treaty Conference on May 10, 2022.
IISD worked in partnership with ClientEarth and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) to respond to the consultation. Our submission outlines some of the major conflicts that exist between investment law and environmental regulations, including how priority given to investment protection in arbitral tribunals can discourage countries from pursuing ambitious environmental measures. It also details the main barriers to change in the investment treaty regime, such as a lack of coherence and consensus on how reform efforts should proceed. Finally, it proposes a series of policy recommendations aimed at coordinating reform efforts and reconciling climate and investment objectives.
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