Dr Emma Wilson is an independent researcher and consultant focusing on relations between industry, government and local communities, mostly in the context of the energy sector and extractive industries. She combines practical advice for international financial institutions, companies and industry associations, with publication of in-depth analysis on the application of ethical and social standards and public policy. She regularly publishes in academic books and peer-reviewed journals, with a significant body of publications on community engagement, public policy, and human and Indigenous rights. She has carried out field research in Russia, the Arctic, Central Asia and Africa.
Her research and consultancy work have for many years focused on the practical application of international standards for Indigenous and human rights in the context of industrial development. Recent publications include two book chapters in collaboration with the Universities of Akureyri and Greenland, Hydrocarbon activities on indigenous land: substantive and procedural rights (2022) and Indigenous rights and resource development in the Arctic: an overview of international standards and principles for consultation, participation and consent (2020). In 2020, Emma also completed a piece of research for the ISEAL Alliance of voluntary sustainability initiatives on Voluntary Standards and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) across the mining and agriculture sectors.
Emma has a strong interest in just energy transitions, from the perspective of equitable energy access and public engagement, as well as mining issues related to energy transitions. In 2022 Emma collaborated with the University of Gothenburg to produce: Just energy transitions? Energy policy and the adoption of clean energy technology by households in Sweden (2022). In 2020 she collaborated with the Consultation Institute (UK) on a project relating to local government responses to COVID-19 and the climate crisis, with the report: Public Engagement and the Green Recovery: a Guidance Note for Local Authorities (2020).
From 2013-2017 Emma was part of a major collaboration with the Arran Lule Sami Centre (Norway) and Cambridge University, entitled Evaluating Ethical Guidelines, with a series of analytical papers on international standards for indigenous rights, participation and consent in extractive industry projects, based on field research in Russia and Norway. Between 2007 and 2015, Emma worked at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London. Here she produced publications including: Meaningful community engagement in the extractive industries; Energy and minerals in Greenland: governance, corporate responsibility and social resilience; and Sustainable energy for all? Linking poor communities to modern energy services.
Emma completed her PhD research at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), University of Cambridge, on the theme ‘Local involvement in natural resource management’ based on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. Collaboration in subsequent years led to the publication of two journal special editions, which she co-edited: Dialogue for Development: An Exploration of Relations between Oil and Gas Companies, Communities and the State (Sibirica, 2006) and Beyond extractivism and alternative cosmologies: Arctic communities and extractive industries in uncertain times (Extractive Industries and Society, 2016).