Living standards lag behind economic growth. Eureka Alert, February 13, 2017.
As incomes rise in developing countries, access to basic amenities such as electricity, clean cooking energy, water, and sanitation, also improves–but not uniformly, and not as quickly as income growth, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study looked at historical rates of energy access compared to other living standards and GDP.
“What we found is that income growth alone isn’t enough on its own to get these basic necessities to all people in society,” explains IIASA researcher Narasimha D. Rao, who led the study.
The researchers also found that access to clean cooking energy and sanitation lagged behind access to electricity and water, a finding which has an outsize impact on the poorest members of society, and especially on women.
“Women bear the brunt of health risks that come from cooking with solid fuels, as well as from lack of sanitation, because women are predominantly responsible for cooking and household work,” explains IIASA researcher Shonali Pachauri, who also worked on the study.
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