This term refers to a set of national and international regulations developed to “attract” transnational corporations and national investors to particular countries or locations and guarantee long-term profit for their operations.
Historically, these regulations have always been imposed through circumventing and manipulating democratic processes, overruling national constitutions against the will of the people. They have been resisted by worker organizations, peasant communities, Indigenous groups, and others.
These regulations rely on sacrificing people’s rights or and undoing environmental protections. They promote unreported employment, loss of the right to prior consultation, and destructive changes in land use, along with subsidies and permits for tax evasion for industrial and extractive activities.
For example, many countries are theoretically capable of taking big steps toward a just energy transition; however, corporations are throwing obstacles in the way of such measures by using legal security for investments to sue these countries in international arbitration courts for millions in compensation for hypothetical ‘lost profits’.
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