Beyond time for moratorium on data centres

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
20 September 2023
  • Government must establish Expert Working Group on climate proofing data centres

Labour spokesperson on climate Senator Rebecca Moynihan has reiterated Labour’s call for a moratorium on all new data centres in Ireland.

Following the news that Amazon has been granted permission to build three data centres in Dublin, Senator Moynihan urged Government to establish an Expert Working Group on the environmental impact of data centres.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Government can no longer sit on their hands with the news that Amazon has received planning permission to build three data centres in Dublin. They have continually buried their heads in the sand when it comes to questions over Ireland’s long-term energy planning. It’s deeply concerning.

“It’s time for action not lip service. We’re calling for the Government to establish an expert working group to assess the environmental impact of data centres, to propose solutions for climate proofing data centres and to commit to climate proofing measures of new developments.

“The CSO shows a 400% increase in the energy consumption of data centres. We need to understand the full impact this is having across our electricity infrastructure.

“More than half (62%) of the country’s expected increase in electricity demand between 2021-2025 is set to come from extra-large energy users such as data centres.

“It’s unsustainable. There should be a halt on new centres until we have a full understanding of the impact they are having on our environment and our infrastructure.

“We’re calling for a moratorium on new data centres until we have a full understanding of their impact. We need to ensure that the development of data centres in Ireland is sustainable and that it does not come at the expense of our environment.”

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