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.
Kyla Tienhaara and Christian Downie
This chapter assesses the G20 from the perspective of three distinct ‘green’ theoretical approaches: green market liberalism; green institutionalism; and critical green theory. A focus is given to three areas of the G20’s work: green stimulus/green growth; fossil fuel subsidy reform; and climate change risk in the financial sector. Additionally, two pivotal G20 summits (Brisbane 2014 and Hamburg 2017) are described to demonstrate how state and non-state actors utilize G20 processes to shape international climate negotiations. The chapter concludes that the G20’s performance on environmental issues has thus far been slow and inconsistent; however, there is some reason to remain optimistic that it might improve. Some reflections on institutional reforms that could enhance the prospects for G20 leadership in global environmental governance are provided.