States are increasingly critical of the current regime of protection of foreign investment. They often believe that investment treaties require undue limitations of their regulatory powers and undermine their effort to develop sustainably. The article first explores the relationship between foreign investment and sustainable development. It then examines recent treaty practice and assesses how States can take full advantage of investment treaties as vehicles for economic development without compromising on the protection of the environment, labour standard and human rights. It also provides a tentative taxonomy of the different treaty clauses and techniques that may contribute to create a stable and predictable legal framework for foreign investment that is also respectful of the various private and public interests involved.