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Investment Law & Policy

IISD works with governments, intergovernmental institutions, and civil society to develop innovative legal and policy tools that ensure international investments drive sustainable development.

Sustainable development is an investment issue. International investment is crucial to mitigate climate change, alleviate poverty, address global inequality, create fair jobs, and increase climate resilience. Investment holds the key to a more fair and sustainable world economy.

IISD's global team of investment experts collaborates with governments, international institutions, academics, and civil society to develop legal and policy tools that link investment to sustainable social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

We examine how to improve the institutions, rules, and practices that govern international investment flows and publish independent and thought-provoking research. IISD' flagship journal, Investment Treaty News, is a must-read for every investment policy-maker, bringing new analysis and ideas to a global readership.

Workshops and advisory services

On a practical level, we work with decision-makers on every continent across multilateral, regional, national, and local levels, proposing alternatives to some of the most burning issues facing decision-makers in the investment space.

We provide workshops, training, and advisory services to government officials and civil society actors from developing countries from Africa and Asia to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Investment Policy Forum: Driving bottom-up reform

Every year, IISD hosts the Investment Policy Foruma unique event that brings together investment officials from developing countries across the world and has created a genuine global network for change.

Tackling investor-state dispute settlements

IISD's team of experts is leading the way in reforming how disputes are settled under investment treatiesa process known as investorstate dispute settlement (ISDS)toward a global investment governance where local and indigenous communities, climate laws and policies, and the environment nature all receive robust protection.

We partner up with media to inform the global conversation on investment governance reform, including leading news outlets, such as Financial Timesthe GuardianForbes, and Reuters, leading media in the legal and investment space, such as Law360 and FDI Intelligence, and regional agenda-setters, such as Afrik21.

Engaging in international reform processes 

To this end, we are a member of the Task Force for the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Investment Protocol and the United Nations Conference on International Trade Law process for ISDS reform (the so-called UNCITRAL Working Group III). We also play an instrumental role in removing one of the key remaining obstacles to Europe's green energy transition reform, the Energy Charter Treaty, and advancing sustainable energy investment solutions in its place.

In addition, IISD's Investment team engages in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s work program on the Future of Investment Treaties and is a member of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Multi-Stakeholder Platform on International Investment Agreement Reform as well as the World Investment for Development Alliance, a global platform dedicated to promoting investment for sustainable development.