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Beyond Known Worlds: Climate Change Governance by Arbitral Tribunals?

Valentina Vadi is a Professor of International Economic Law at Lancaster University. Her article asks: Can economic development and the fight against climate change be integrated successfully? What role, if any, does international investment law play in global climate governance? Can foreign direct investments (FDI) be tools in the struggle against climate change? What types of claims have foreign investors brought with regard to climate change-related regulatory measures before investment treaty arbitral tribunals? This Article examines the specific question as to whether foreign direct investments can mitigate and/or aggravate climate change. The interplay between climate change and foreign direct investment is largely underexplored and in need of systematization. To map this nexus, this Article proceeds as follows. First, it examines the conceptualization of climate as a global public good. Second, it considers it as an environmental issue. Third, it scrutinizes its conceptualization as a human rights issue. Fourth, it explores critical legal issues raised by the complex interplay between climate change and foreign direct investments. Fifth, it critically assesses several current case studies. Sixth, the Article will present some legal tools to achieve a balance between the different interests at stake. The conclusions will then sum up the key findings of the study.


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