Fine Gael showing their colours on data centre developments

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
02 March 2024

Labour’s climate spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan has sounded the alarm on Ireland’s burgeoning data centre construction, warning that the country’s climate emissions targets are at risk due to their unsustainable energy demands.

Senator Moynihan said
“Following reports of a row between Eamon Ryan and Simon Coveney over the development of new data centres, it’s clear that Fine Gael have yet to catch up on the climate crisis. The dominance of IDA policy must not outweigh government policy, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability.

“Data centres use vast quantities of electricity, now accounting for as much electricity usage as all urban households in the State. 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. This is completely unsustainable.

“Fine Gael needs to understand that 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’ve been calling for a moratorium on new data centres until we have a full understanding of their impact. We’ve called for an Expert Working Group to provide the necessary expertise and guidance to ensure that future development aligns with our climate goals.

“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. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

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