ESG-focussed Reform for International Investment Agreements: A Potential Solution

Late last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment presented a scathing report to the UN General Assembly on investor-state dispute resolution (‘ISDS’) and its consequences for climate change and human rights. The report termed ISDS an ‘unjust, undemocratic and dysfunctional process’, which ‘perpetuates colonial extractivism and exacerbates inequality’.

While the report has met with some criticism (see here), the prevalent skepticism about ISDS, or for that matter towards international investment agreements (‘IIAs’) in general, is well-documented. This hostility has been fuelled in major part by the increasing ESG obligations of States. As States introduce more regulations to address key ESG issues, particularly climate change, labour and the environment, the conflict between such regulation and investor rights has become increasingly likely.

Please click here to read the full article by Anjali Anchayil, published in Oxford Business Blog.