Chapter 12: Does the green economy need investor-state dispute settlement?
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In the past decade, the ‘green economy’ has become an increasingly important, albeit contested, concept in international policy discussions. While investment law has not figured prominently in these discussions, a number of commentators have made the claim that investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) could help facilitate the transition to a green economy by supporting renewable energy investment. In this chapter, the theoretical basis for such a claim is evaluated and several ISDS cases concerning investments in wind energy (Canada) and solar power (Spain) are discussed. The chapter concludes that even if one adopts a very narrow conception of a green economy, the case for ISDS to play a positive role in its development is weak. There is little evidence to suggest a constructive role for ISDS in theory, and in practice the need for wind and solar investments to receive special protection from investment treaties is limited and declining.

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