Webinar on international investment agreements and climate action

04 February 2022
12:00 - 15:00 hrs. (CET)

UNCTAD and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) organized a webinar on international investment agreements and climate action on 4 February 2022.

The event brought together experts and stakeholders from government, international organisations, civil society and academia to discuss the reform of the international investment agreements (IIAs) regime for climate change goals.

Experts shared views, experiences and practices on how to ensure that the IIA regime does not hinder governments from implementing measures to mitigate climate change and accelerate a transition towards green investments.

It also explored solutions for making existing and future IIAs more conducive to investments that have a positive contribution on the Sustainable Development Goals.

As a follow up to the meeting, UNCTAD and IIED released on 23 March 2022 a policy brief on International Investment Agreements and Climate Action based on the joint webinar.

The note highlights key policy recommendations aimed at supporting the reform of International Investment Agreements (IIAs) in order to advance climate goals, and to ensure that IIAs do not hinder states from implementing climate measures and accelerating the transition to low-carbon economies.

UNCTAD and IIED will continue to cooperate on issues relating to IIAs and climate action to ensure that investment policy is consistent with, and proactively advances, national, regional and global climate commitments.


Welcoming remarks: UNCTAD/IIED (5 minutes)

  • James Zhan, director, Investment and Enterprise Division, UNCTAD
  • Andrew Norton, director, IIED

Session 1: Accelerating IIA reform for climate action (40 minutes)

Moderator: Clare Shakya, director, Climate Change research group, IIED

  • Hamed El-Kady, Coordinator, International Investment Agreements Sections/Josef Ostransky, Consultant, UNCTAD
  • Martin Dietrich Brauch, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Lorenzo Cotula/Thierry Berger (IIED) and Suzy Nikièma, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Surya Deva, chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, and professor, Macquarie Law School, Australia

Session 2: Sharing of experiences on IIA reform (80 minutes)

Moderator: Hamed El-Kady, UNCTAD

  • Kekeletso Lorraine Mashigo, director, legal, international trade, investment, dispute settlement, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, South Africa
  • Roslyn Ng’eno, senior investment expert, African Union Commission (TBC)
  • Patience Okala, director, legal services, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria
  • Chantal Ononaiwu, trade policy and legal specialist, Office of Trade Negotiations, CARICOM Secretariat
  • Dorieke Overduin, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Netherlands
  • Mohamed Abdel Gawad, Minister Plenipotentiary (Commercial), head of sector, multilateral cooperation with UN and IFIs, Ministry of International Cooperation, Egypt
  • David Gaukrodger, senior legal advisor, OECD

Session 3: Solutions for the way forward (60 minutes)

Moderator: Lisa Sachs, director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)

  • Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, assistant professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, co-founding editor, Afronomicslaw
  • Azar Aliyev, associate professor for International Economic Law and Comparative Law, Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg
  • Amnon Lehavi, professor, Harry Radzyner Law School (Reichman University), former co-president, Law School Global League
  • Alicia Nicholls, research fellow, Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services, The University of the West Indies
  • Nicolás M. Perrone, research associate, Professor of International Law, Andrés Bello National University
  • Tara Van Ho, senior lecturer, School of Law and Human Rights Centre, co-director, Essex Business and Human Rights Project, co-president, Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association, Essex Law School

Closing remarks (5 minutes)

Hamed El Kady, UNCTAD, and Lorenzo Cotula, IIED

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

English  |    



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Jérémy Davis
senior communications coordinator
IIED's Natural Resources research group