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Leo the climate laggard must curb data centre plague - Senator Lynn Boylan

9 June, 2021 - by Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Climate Justice Senator Lynn Boylan has welcomed the intervention by the regulator to curb data centres. 

Senator Boylan said:

“I have raised this issue on several occasions in the Seanad and with the Minister. 

"Data centres will put immense pressure on the grid at huge cost to the taxpayer. We will spend €9 billion on the grid to allow Amazon, Microsoft and their peers to set up data centres here.

“The greatest threat to keeping the lights on is not renewable energy or the phasing out of coal – it’s the greed of Big Tech using vast quantities of energy to run data centres.

"Data centres pose a serious threat to meeting our emissions targets. 

"At a time when we’re supposed to be reducing emissions, the data centres of tech giants will add at least 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 to our carbon emissions in the coming decade.

“The Tánaiste’s data centre strategy is completely at odds with our climate strategy. 

"As usual, Fine Gael is thwarting real climate action to support friends in industry. But it will be the taxpayer that picks up the fines for missing EU targets.

“Planning regulations need to be strengthened to curb the growth in data centres.

“Currently, local authorities and An Bord Pleanála judge data centres in combination with the impact of other developments in the local area, however they are not required to take account of the cumulative energy and climate impact of data centres.”

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