Nobel Laureate Stiglitz says ISDS is litigation terrorism which can discourage action on climate change

May 30, 2019: In a recent interview with Reuters Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz has slammed trade deals that include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS enables foreign investor rights to sue governments for millions in international tribunals over changes to environmental laws.

He described ISDS cases as “litigation terrorism” which can “instill fear of environmental regulations and climate regulations” because of the potential costs to governments. Cases like the US Westmoreland coal company case against a Canadian provincial government phase-out of coal-fired power “risk having a ‘chilling effect’ on implementing the stringent climate regulations required to fulfill a pact to curb global warming,” he said.

He called for a halt to the inclusion of ISDS in trade and investment agreements until there are fundamental changes to the system.

Professor Stiglitz won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and is the author of many books on the global economy.