Stay married and save the planet: Aussie lawmaker

Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:36am EST
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CANBERRA (Reuters) - Staying married is better for the planet because divorce leads the newly single to live more wasteful lifestyles, an Australian lawmaker said Tuesday.

Senator Steve Fielding told a Senate hearing in the Australian capital Canberra that divorce only made climate change worse.

When couples separated, they needed more rooms, more electricity and more water. This increased their carbon footprint, Australian Associated Press (AAP) quoted Fielding as telling the hearing on environmental issues.

"We understand that there is a social problem (with divorce), but now we're seeing there is also environmental impact as well on the footprint," AAP quoted him as saying.

Such a "resource-inefficient lifestyle" meant it would be better for the planet if couples stayed married, he said.

During the hearing, the senator read out quotes from a U.S. report that advocated his stance.

Fielding, who leads the independent Family First party, grew up in a family of 16 children and has been married for 22 years, his website says.

(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by David Fogarty and Paul Tait)

<p>A couple share a siesta at the base of a wall on Manly Beach in Sydney December 25, 2007. REUTERS/Will Burgess</p>