PLoS One. 2022 Sep 15;17(9):e0274447. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0274447. eCollection 2022.
This study exclusively contributes to the health-environment discourse by using mortality rates, carbon emissions (proxy for environmental degradation), renewable energy and real per capita income to investigate these intrinsic relationships. This study uses an unbalanced sample of 47 Sub-Saharan African countries from 2005-2019 to reveal that: (1) both carbon emissions and renewable energy are associated with higher mortality rates; (2) real per capita income is associated with reducing mortality rates; (3) per capita income attenuates the effect of renewable energy on mortality rates, (4) persistency in mortalities exist; and (5) the health-environment-energy-income dynamics differ across income groups. Additionally, this study submits that the interaction of renewable energy and real per capita income dampens the positive effect of renewable energy on mortality rates and supports the argument that income levels lessen the extent of mortalities. Besides, these results vividly show that real per capita income reduces the devastating effect of renewable energy on infant and under-5 mortality rates from 0.942% to 0.09%, 2.42% to 0.55%, 1.04% to 0.09% and 2.8% to 0.64% for high and middle-income countries, respectively. This is a novel and significant contribution to the health-environment literature. Hence, real per capita income is a crucial determinant of mortality rate. Policy recommendations are discussed.