Node Pole and Member of European Parliament urge legislators to take action for green datacenters

In a joint op-ed in this morning’s Dagens Nyheter, the most circulated morning newspaper in Sweden, Member of European Parliament for Sweden Fredrick Federley (C) and Node Pole CEO Patrik Öhlund push for the importance for transparency and a climate labelling for digital services. Together they urge Swedish lawmakers to be a driving force for the EU to adopt tough legislation.

Read a summary of the op-ed below.

Today, there are about nine million datacenters around the world and many of them are still fuelled by fossil fuel, mainly coal power. According to Nature, carbon emissions from datacenters amount to 2% of global emissions, as much as the entire aviation industry, and could rise to as much as 10% in 2030. As global temperatures keep increasing despite the targets set in the Paris Agreement, countries and companies need to take leadership and tangible actions.

The climate threat also means that more and more consumers want to make sustainable choices, but today it is difficult to know if the digital services you use come from green datacenters or dirty clouds. Just as climate labelling and transparency are everywhere in today's grocery stores, the same must be established for digital choices. If the industry itself does not act, Sweden should be the driving force for the EU to formulate tough legislation in this area.

We, therefore, propose the following:

1. Introduce climate labelling for the internet.
As more transparency is needed to increase incentives for companies and organizations to prioritize green digital solutions - and to simplify for consumers to make sustainable choices.

2. Make green data storage a requirement for public procurement.
It should be obvious for Swedish authorities and other public organizations to include fossil free data as a criterion for the procurement and operation of digital infrastructure. The energy source used to store data is crucial in the transition to a fossil free society. Therefore, it is urgent to ensure that new datacenters use fossil free energy and that we create the conditions for more datacenters in Sweden. Otherwise, global carbon dioxide emissions will increase.

Read the op-ed in its entirety here: