- International investment law — International environmental law
This chapter discusses the relationship between international investment law and international environmental law. The contestation between the fields that emerged in the context of investor-state arbitration was blunt and initially resulted in the rules of international investment law being prioritized over the obligations of states under multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), domestic environmental protection policies and decision-making, and the host state's public welfare regulatory space. Responding to that contest, the new generation bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) reflect the desire of states to work within a more balanced version of the environment/investment nexus. It is not yet, however, at a point where it can be said to be equally balanced in the engagement of international environmental law and international investment law, and there is evidently still room for significant improvements in the way in which environmental issues are understood and interpreted by arbitrators in investor-state disputes. But the culture and context in which the environment and investment are meeting is most definitely shifting and it is hoped that the trajectory continues still further in that direction.
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