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Columbia Law School

Policy

Natural Resources Law

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Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related To The Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill Jan 2020

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related To The Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Growing cries for action to effectively address the climate and other environmental crises hold important implications for the governance of cross-border investments. Policymakers and environmental advocates have often overlooked how provisions granted by states in international investment agreements (IIAs) have been used by investors to challenge government measures taken in the public interest to protect the environment and advance environmental justice.

This 2019 paper, published in the Sciences Po Legal Review issue devoted to the climate crisis, explains how the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, made available to investors in thousands of bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements, may …


Reputational And Integrity Due Diligence On Investors, Kroll, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jan 2019

Reputational And Integrity Due Diligence On Investors, Kroll, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Before deciding to invest, companies and investors will perform background research on the uncertainties and risks associated with the proposed investment. For natural resource projects, there are risks around geology, market and price developments, construction delays, operations, regulatory changes, political disruptions, and reputational issues. Feasibility studies and due diligence assessments aim to better understand these risks, reduce uncertainty where possible and be better prepared to manage them.

Governments too should understand the risks that are associated with the proposed investments and get to know the investors before entering into negotiations or signing contracts. This is particularly important for long-term agreements …


Costs And Benefits Of Investment Treaties: Practical Considerations For States, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Guven, Lisa E. Sachs Mar 2018

Costs And Benefits Of Investment Treaties: Practical Considerations For States, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Guven, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper analyzes the expected benefits of investment treaties, including: increased inward investment, increased outward investment, and depoliticization of investment disputes. It then considers evidence of the costs of investment treaties, including: litigation, liability, reputational cost, reduced policy space, distorted power dynamics, reduced role for domestic law-making, and uncertainty in the law. The authors set forth practical steps that states can take relating to both existing treaties as well as future treaties with an objective of increasing desired benefits and decreasing unexpected and high costs of investment treaties.


Meeting Summary Of Colloquium On Policy, Law, Contracts, And Sustainable Development, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Nov 2014

Meeting Summary Of Colloquium On Policy, Law, Contracts, And Sustainable Development, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In November 2014, CCSI and the Institute for Human Rights and Business co-convened a colloquium on policy, law, contracts, and sustainable development, with a particular focus on large-scale investments in the extractive industries and the agriculture sector. The colloquium provided an opportunity for practitioners to share information on their related work, as well as to reflect on current practices and remaining gaps regarding efforts to embed sustainability and human rights into large-scale deals. This outcome document provides a summary of the discussion, while its annex includes information on participants’ relevant programs, initiatives, and tools.


Toward Win-Win Sustainable Development, Linda Moon Nov 2014

Toward Win-Win Sustainable Development, Linda Moon

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

An interview with Lisa Sachs, Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.