Report

Rethinking Investment Treaties

A roadmap

International investment treaties and their investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) system are facing growing scrutiny of how they threaten climate action, environmental protection, and social justice. But what would an alternative system—one fit for the challenges of the 21st century—look like?

  • EU voted to leave #ECT and Ecuador's citizens rejected #ISDS. The need to reform investment treaties to support #climate action and #socialjustice is more urgent than ever. In @IISD_news new paper @JOstransky and @JBonnitcha rethink whether/how treaties instead can accelerate #sustdev.

  • @SREnvironment found that our international investment treaties and #ISDS are "catastrophic" for #envi and #humanrights. But how can treaties be redesigned to support #sustdev? Must-read paper from @IISD_news @JOstransky & @JBonnitcha sets out a roadmap for policy-makers!

  • Investment treaties of the future need to strengthen international cooperation, make sure host states benefit from inv projects, and align with #ParisAgreement. How to get there? Join as experts unpack @IISD_news' new paper! Register https://www.iisd.org/events/rethinking-investment-treaties

If we were building the investment treaty regime from scratch today, what policy problems should the regime seek to solve, and how should it contribute to solving them?

The answer to this core question points to existing problems of international investment governance; issues where cooperation between states is both desirable and necessary. This report divides investment governance policy problems into three categories: (a) issues related to the encouragement and support of sustainable investment, (b) issues related to the impacts of investment projects, and (c) cross-cutting issues of investment governance, institutions, and international cooperation. For each category, the paper assesses whether a treaty could play a useful role and highlights questions that require further consideration, investigation, and clarification.

Rethinking Investment Treaties is a step toward designing future investment treaties and a must-read for policy-makers responding to the most pressing policy problems of the 21st century.

On May 30, the report authors and leading experts from international institutions and academia will unpack the report's key findings and policy guidance–register for our webinar here