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Investment for Sustainable Development

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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. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important source of that capital.

But investment does not come without risks. How can we ensure investments are made responsibly, without harming people, the environment or the local economy?

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.

  • Blog
    How ECOWAS Parliamentarians are Advancing Gender Equality in Agriculture

    How ECOWAS Parliamentarians are Advancing Gender Equality in Agriculture

    How the ECOWAS Parliamentary Network fosters food security, women’s empowerment and investment in agriculture.

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  • Commentary
    Reply to Public Consultation on Canada's International Investment Agreements (FIPAs)

    Reply to Public Consultation on Canada's International Investment Agreements (FIPAs)

    The Canadian government launched a public consultation on Canada’s foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) on August 14, 2018. This commentary outlines IISD's reply.

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  • Blog
    Trade Wars Turning Into Investment Wars: Will sustainable development suffer?

    Trade Wars Turning Into Investment Wars: Will sustainable development suffer?

    While the U.S.–China trade war rages on and captures headlines, a U.S.–China investment war is emerging. Will sustainable development be the ultimate loser?

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  • Blog
    Sustainable Finance Key to Low-Carbon Economic Transition

    Sustainable Finance Key to Low-Carbon Economic Transition

    Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance released its interim report yesterday with a clear message that harnessing the country’s financial assets is essential for a successful low-carbon transition.

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  • Blog
    Burkina Faso Adopts a New Agricultural Investment Code: How does it contribute to sustainable development?

    Burkina Faso Adopts a New Agricultural Investment Code: How does it contribute to sustainable development?

    The strengths and growth potential of Burkina Faso's new Agricultural Investment Code.

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  • Newsletter
    Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 9, Issue 3, October 2018

    Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 9, Issue 3, October 2018

    Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD’s flagship journal on international investment law and policy.

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  • Book
    International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from the 2010s

    International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from the 2010s

    This e-book features 10 summaries and analyses of decisions rendered between 2011 and 2018 by arbitral tribunals in treaty-based investor–state arbitration cases having sustainable development implications.

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  • Best Practices
    IISD Best Practices Series: Security for Costs

    IISD Best Practices Series: Security for Costs

    This IISD Best Practices paper explores challenges for states in obtaining orders for security of costs and provides model treaty language designed to help overcome those challenges.

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  • Blog
    USMCA Curbs How Much Investors Can Sue Countries—Sort of

    USMCA Curbs How Much Investors Can Sue Countries—Sort of

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) put the famous investor–state dispute settlement mechanism on the map. Now its rebirth as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) is taking it off again—at least between the United States and Canada.

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  • Blog
    Cleaning up Toxic Soils in China: A trillion-dollar question

    Cleaning up Toxic Soils in China: A trillion-dollar question

    In its latest effort to address environmental problems, China has adopted its first soil pollution law. However, how to finance the remediation of the damage already done remains a big question.

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