THE Shannon LNG planning application to build an LNG terminal, gas burning turbine and data-centre risks making Limerick and the Midwest Ireland’s pollution capital, according to Limerick People Before Profit. The party has criticised the plans as “expanding climate damaging industries, at a time when the country has declared a climate emergency”
In a statement the former councillor Cian Prendiville said:
“The push for bringing additional gas supplies onshore is driven by the increasing energy needs. These needs aren’t being driven by the needs of people here in Ireland but the needs of massive multinational companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google to deliver exponential growth to their shareholders, people and planet be damned.
“While other countries across the EU are seeing their energy use fall we’re seeing ours rise as we continue to allow data centers to be built, forcing us to keep old polluting coal and gas plants online and allowing new gas plants to be built on data centre sites puts the country at risk of nearly €600 million in annual fines for not meeting our climate targets.
“This rise in electricity use also threatens the electricity supply for households, who are already seeing higher bills to support the changes to the grid that are needed to support these energy vampires. In the past month 2 amber alerts were raised about the stability of the electricity supply and with over one third of the electricity supply set to be used by data centres by 2030 we’re all going to face blackouts to support these.
“We need to move beyond the idea that these data centres, in their clean shiny cubes, are any less polluting than a cement factory or alumina plant. Between their massive energy and water use and as a tool for enabling fossil fuel exploration and mass surveillance, we need to call a halt to the construction of new data centres.
“A People Before Profit bill to ban the construction of new data centres has passed the first stage of the Dáil, and yesterdays Sunday Business Post poll shows that a strong majority of people oppose their development, but the government has no intention of making the bill law.
“We need to ensure a just transition for people who would have been employed in the construction and operation of these facilities, to ensure they aren’t abandoned if the projects are called off. We need a state driven green jobs programme that retrofits our housing stock to reduce our reliance on gas in the first place rather than expanding its use and tying ourselves to it for another generation.”