Aligning the International Investment System with Environmental Protection: Synergies or Discord

The international investment system is increasingly perceived as impeding on States’ sovereignty and the right to regulate in the public interest. Such perceived lack of legitimacy has trigged discussions on the reform of investment treaty arbitration (ITA) and treaty design responses by States.

vector money and the environment

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About the project

Faced with strong criticism for granting too many rights to foreign investors, some states have started to recalibrate their international investment agreements (IIAs). Access to investor-state arbitration is limited, provisions encouraging greater commitments to protect the environment and to contribute to the sustainable development are incorporated. Doctoral Research Fellow Laura Létourneau-Tremblay investigates the interplay between ITA and IIAs with a specific focus on environmental protection.


The project investigates to what extent (and how) the international investment treaty system is evolving towards greater environmental friendliness.

It examines the inclusion of environmental language in IIAs and explores some of the effects of such language on ITA. It also aims at providing a systematic explanation of the variation of environmental provisions in IIAs.

More generally, the project seeks to propose options for increasing synergies between international investment law and environmental protection and enhance our understanding of how adjudicative processes and treaty practice interact at the international level.


The project is part of the Responses to the 'legitimacy crisis' of international investment law (LEGINVEST) funded by the Norwegian Research Council under FRIPRO.

Published Feb. 7, 2020 12:47 PM - Last modified Apr. 30, 2020 10:19 AM