A local councillor has expressed her outrage at the overturning of a moratorium on data centres in South Dublin. People Before Profit councillor Madeleine Johansson, who had proposed the moratorium, made the comments following the decision by the Minister on Friday 18th November. The Minister for Local Government Peter Burke issued a direction to South Dublin County Council to remove the democratic decision of councillors to ban new data centres for the duration of the County Development Plan 2022-28.
Cllr Johansson said: “I proposed this motion back in June and it was passed as councillors understood the hugely negative impact that data centres are having in our community and globally. South Dublin has become the data centre hub of Ireland, almost half of all data centres in the country are found here. Currently, data centres use about 14% of our electricity and by 2030 they will use 30%. According to reports, by 2030, data centre development is projected to add at least 1.5 MtCO to Ireland’s carbon emissions. That’s a 15% increase in current electricity-related emissions.
These centres are putting a huge strain on our national grid and may result in blackouts this winter. If we want to meet our climate targets for 2030 a moratorium on data centres is needed now.
It’s outrageous that Minister Peter Burke continues to facilitate large corporations ahead of our local communities and he has shown a complete disrespect for local democracy. The Minister justified his direction through the use of one line from a regional planning policy, while I, in my motion, gave a number of planning reasons and quoted a number of national and regional planning policies. This shows that the issue here is not about proper planning and sustainable development but about unconditional support for multinational corporations by the current government.
We must resist attempts to undermine local democracy in favour of big business and we must continue the fight to ban new data centres in South Dublin and across the island.”