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Report: Big tech data centers are threatening Denmark’s environmental progress

Report: Big tech data centers are threatening Denmark’s environmental progress
[Photo: Sweet Ice Cream Photography/Unsplash]

Denmark has been notably successful at cutting its carbon footprint, but now Apple, Google, and Facebook are threatening to reverse that progress.

The tech giants may be behind an expected rise in the country’s carbon emissions of as much as 10% between now and 2030, according to a Danish government memorandum obtained by newspaper Politiken and cited by CityLab. It’s not that Facebook is gas-powered in Denmark, or that when you try to take a photo of Tivoli Gardens with your iPad, coal plumes are blasted into your face (although I quite like that idea). Rather, we can blame the large data centers these tech companies are reportedly planning to set up in Denmark, ironically in part because of the country’s growing use of green energy. (Denmark is on track to get 50% of its power from renewable resources by 2030.)

According to CityLab, Denmark could be getting as many as six new data centers in the next 12 years, and one data center alone could push up the country’s electricity consumption by 4%, which is the same amount of energy “used in an entire year in Denmark’s third city, Odense.”

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