JEAIL > Volume 16(2); 2023 > Notes & Comments
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2023

Environmental Provisions in ASEAN Investment Agreements: Reserving Member States’ Right to Regulate Environmental Issues

Kim Anh Dao
Korea University School of Law
No.301, Hoegi-ro 4gil, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( University Law School, 100 Inharo, Michuhol-gu, Incheon 22212 Korea. / nses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) becomes an influential actor in international investment rule-making, this article scrutinizes the environmental provisions within ASEAN investment agreements and evaluates their adequacy in preserving ASEAN member states’ (AMS) regulatory autonomy for environmental protection. Through a comprehensive survey of fifteen plurilateral investment agreements, the study conducts a comparative analysis with international treaty practices to determine the effectiveness of these provisions in reconciling environmental concerns with foreign investment promotion objectives. These findings reveal that environmental provisions in ASEAN investment agreements are often vague or narrowly tailored, limiting their ability to provide adequate regulatory space for AMS to implement necessary environmental measures. This article concludes by offering recommendations for enhancing environmental provisions in future ASEAN investment agreements to ensure a more balanced approach safeguarding both investment promotion and environmental regulation rights of AMS.

Keywords : ASEAN, Investment Agreements, Environmental Provisions, Right to Regulate, Foreign Investment

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