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Parliamentary questions
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26 March 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Ciarán Cuffe
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Energy usage of data centres

The growth of the digital single market and the increased digitalisation of society has led to exponential growth in the usage of online services and storage of data. A large amount of energy is required for the storage of this data in centres around Europe. The environmental footprint of the tech sector is significant, estimated at 5-9 % of the world’s total electricity use and more than 2 % of all emissions. There has been little discussion on the amount of electricity that will be needed to facilitate this increase, the amount of CO2 which will be emitted as a result, or its negative effect on the environment.

This situation conflicts with the Commission’s goal of making Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

Can the Commission comment on whether any measures are being taken in order to reduce the emissions of data centres specifically to address this issue?

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