UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Ruya Perincek

Ruya is a Doctoral Researcher at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. She graduated from the London School of Economics and the University of Bremen, and spent one academic year at American University in Washington D.C. She was part of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations’ Security Council team, dealing with the link between natural resources and peacebuilding in a post-conflict transition setting. She co-authored the Security Council’s Progress Report from 2011. Ruya was involved in projects on sustainable consumption and production for poverty eradication and sustainable development at the UNEP/ Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre. Before joining the UCL ISR, she worked for a Brussels-based consultancy on environmental and energy-related topics.

Research subject

This PhD project bridges the gap between extractivism and resource efficiency policy as a potential catalyst for environmental sustainability and industrial diversification, by focusing on “green” linkages between the mining and innovative clean technology sectors in resource-based economies. 

To date, most work emphasized the role of the extractive industry for economic growth. The predominant notion in the “extractivist” scholarship relates to good governance (transparency and accountability), considered as the most important components of a successful minerals-based growth model. This stream neglects the co-benefits of resource efficiency and business opportunities through “green” linkages and their contribution to environmental sustainability. 

Literature on resource efficiency policies, in turn, focuses mostly on resource-dependent growth with a largemanufacturing sector. Positive examples of the sustainable use of resources in resource-rich countries are not common, regardless of the degree of their economic development. These countries need to develop better policies and framework conditions, and we need to understand causal mechanisms in a systematic way and reinforcing dynamics in the realm of resource policy.

This work does not neglect the peculiar role and importance of the mining industry as a major driver of economic growth in resource-rich economies, but it explores the challenges and opportunities for a new role of the mining industry. It contributes to the understanding of roles of the public and private sectors in the transformation and transition to green(er) growth. 

There is clearly a potential in rich, democratic and accountable resource-based economies for resource efficiency and economic diversification, which needs to be unlocked. Thus, this PhD project (i) develops an analytical framework, which sketches out governance conditions under which governments and the mining sector succeed or fail in mainstreaming resource efficiency and achieving “green” linkages for industrial deepening; (ii) applies the analytical framework to two case studies and reviews evidence; and (iii) examines scope and potential of increasing resource efficiency and economic diversification based on interviews and surveys from which policy recommendations will be derived.