Investment Law & Policy
Sustainable development is an investment issue. Capital is needed to alleviate poverty, create jobs, accelerate the clean energy transition, and allow for the development of much-needed infrastructure to provide goods and services for all.
IISD works with governments and civil society to develop and improve legal and policy tools focusing on the critical linkage between investment and sustainable development. We look for and provide new approaches to ensure that investment law and policy advance environmentally sound investment that generates broad socioeconomic benefits.
In particular, IISD experts examine how the rules and institutions that govern international investment flows can be improved to benefit developing countries. This includes our work on reforming how disputes are settled under investment treaties—a process known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)—where we collaborate with national governments, regional and international organizations, academics and civil society to reshape investment law and policy frameworks collaboratively and innovatively. This work is not limited to ISDS, but also covers investor obligations and improved access to justice for those individuals and communities adversely affected by foreign investment projects.
We also actively participate in the multilateral intergovernmental process at the United Nations Conference on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to discuss possible ISDS reform, as well as in the UN talks on a binding treaty on business and human rights.
As an integral component of our investment work, we are the host and convener of the Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, an event that brings together officials from across world regions to discuss the latest trends in these areas, exchange experiences, and assess possible next steps. IISD also publishes objective, independent, high-quality research and resources relating to investment law and policy, and provides advisory services for countries to support their work on developing new legal tools and frameworks for investment.
Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators
The world’s only global assembly on investment negotiation exclusively for government officials from developing and emerging economies.
Investment Treaty News
Investment Treaty News (ITN) has offered news, analysis and opinions on international investment law and its implications for sustainable development. The service began as a list-serve where information and views were shared among members, before becoming an electronic newsletter produced by a small editorial team.
Webinars on Investment Law and Policy
This webinar series provides information on developments in international investment law and policy. It will equip developing country governments and regional organizations to negotiate better treaties and contracts—and prepare for and manage investment disputes.
What we offer
Investment Capacity Building and Advisory Services
The highly qualified international lawyers of IISD’s Investment Program offer advisory services on international investment treaties and contracts, with respect to investment negotiations, implementation and disputes.
Investment Policy Best Practices Advisory Bulletins
Drawing on public treaty texts and different model investment agreements produced by governments, IISD’s Best Practices Series analyzes the evolving scope and nature of investment treaty negotiations, in particular from the developing country and sustainable development perspectives.
Investment Law and Policy Reform: A series of expert meetings
Through a series of interactive expert meetings, IISD has fostered innovative thinking and developed elements of a progressive agenda on investment.
IISD-UNIGE Speaker Series on Investment Disputes
This lunch series aims to examine the relationship between international investment law cases and sustainable development goals and policies.
Training Courses for Developing Countries on International Investment Treaties
The increased complexity and importance of the international investment framework has not, to date, been met with the requisite increased capacity of developing countries to negotiate, renegotiate and assess the agreements or to fully appreciate their implications.
Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
Soledad Leal Campos
Lead, Sustainable Trade
Outreach Manager and Law Advisor, IGF
Suzy H. Nikièma
Lead, Sustainable Investment
Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment
Senior Law Advisor
Private climate investment needs to get intentional about gender and equity — here’s how
The private capital committed by members of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) has the potential to transform climate investments. Yet climate investment decision-makers don’t reflect the diversity we need for a just transition. They are therefore likely to overlook the women outside of their networks driving many solutions.
Investor–State Disputes in the Fossil Fuel Industry
Phasing out fossil fuels is critical to global efforts to tackle climate change, but actions to curb emissions are hindered by protections granted under international investment law.
Comparative Approaches to Compensation Under International Investment Law
An interview with Esmé Shirlow on her forthcoming IISD paper comparing approaches used by international investment tribunals to determine compensation awards.
Renegotiating Sustainable Agricultural Concession Agreements: The case of Liberia
This Q&A is intended to highlight how concession agreements and the laws governing them were used to enhance sustainable investment in agriculture in Liberia.
Gabonese Parliamentarians Learn About Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are launching a capacity-building program on responsible investment in agriculture and food systems for members of the Parliament of the Gabonese Republic.
Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 12, Issue 3, October 2021
Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD's flagship journal on international investment law and policy.
Energy lawsuits pact seen threatening Paris climate deal
Fear of multi-billion-euro lawsuits from fossil fuel investors is putting the Paris agreement on climate change at risk, one of the deal's architects has warned.
Romania plans coal power exit by 2032
The Romanian government has confirmed it will shut down all of its coal power plants by 2032, with the lion’s share to go by 2025, as campaigners warn that investors in dozens of Europe’s coal plants enjoy protection under the controversial Energy Charter Treaty.
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