Dublin: South Dublin passes motion to prevent data center builds

Mar 15, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Continuing to pursue the ban on new data center builds in Dublin, People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson recently put forward an amendment to do just that, a motion, which was voted through by 18 votes to 13 against, with one abstention.

Despite the vote to curb further builds, there are already 34 operational data centers in the general Dublin South region, while several others are under construction, and up to a dozen have also received planning approval.

People Before Profit TD, and spokesperson on climate, Bríd Smith, said that the scale of data centers in Ireland, is a “threat” to energy usage and climate targets. “We simply cannot keep feeding these data centres and its now clear that continued approval for such centres will destroy any hope we have of reaching our climate targets in CO2 reductions. Any renewable energy projects we might realise will simply be gobbled up by data centres. They are not sustainable.” She said. Further to this, she outlined that the government is failing to address “the core issue.” She continued: “Data centres will consume 30% and more of all electricity produced in the state in the coming years with some estimates that continued unrestricted approval of new sites could see up to 70% of our electricity going to them.”

Smith added that she hopes the passing of this motion will encourage other councils to follow suit, and “wake up to the dangers involved in unrestricted data centres approvals including the threat of power cuts. For our climate and our future energy needs I hope many more follow this lead.”

Gino Kenny, TD for Dublin Mid-West, commented: “I would like to congratulate my colleague Cllr Madeleine Johansson for getting this very important motion passed at SDCC. The saturation of data centres would simply make our international climate obligations unattainable. It is very good that this motion was passed, and I hope that other councils across the country will take inspiration from this motion.”