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Date of Publication: September 25
Year of Publication: 2023
Publication City: London, UK
Author(s): Isabella Kaminski
Journal: The Lancet Planetary Health
Volume: 7 (10)
A UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and the environment is exploring whether international dispute mechanisms compromise action on climate change and development—and how that can change.
Since the 1950s, thousands of investment agreements have been negotiated between pairs or groups of states. The stated aim of these treaties is usually to increase the inward flow of foreign money by promising companies will be treated fairly and guaranteeing the safety of their financial investments.
Most treaties include some form of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism to enforce them, which enables companies to sue foreign countries in which they have a stake for doing things that reduce the value of their investments. That could include breaching a contract, seizing or nationalising investments, or changing taxes, subsidies or regulations.
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