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May-July 2022

Environmental campaigners halt Meta datacentre construction in the Netherlands

Facebook parent Meta has shelved plans to build an unusually large datacentre in the Netherlands after a growing environmental campaign brought calls in the Dutch parliament for it to be scrapped. The computing facility, billed to be one of the most environmentally friendly in the world, was being built to serve “metaverse” worlds to virtual reality headsets across Europe, and to carry communications over WhatsApp and Facebook. But with an expected energy consumption of 1380GWh (gigawatt hours) per year, it would consume nearly half as much energy as all the other datacentres in the Netherlands, a country with one of the world’s largest datacentre industries. Meta halted plans to build the datacentre after the Dutch parliament on Tuesday called for the government to do everything in its power to stop the facility being built, a spokesman for the company told Computer Weekly. Parliamentarians voted to approve a motion tabled by a left-wing environmental party that the Meta datacentre should not be built until the government has ...

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