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Digitalization and AI in European Agriculture: A Strategy for Achieving Climate and Biodiversity Targets?

by 1,2,*, 1,3 and 1,4,5
1
Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy, 04229 Leipzig, Germany
2
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany
3
Faculty of Law, Humboldt-University Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany
4
Faculty of Law, University of Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany
5
Interdisciplinary Faculty, University of Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francisco Pedrero Salcedo
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094652
Received: 16 March 2021 / Revised: 13 April 2021 / Accepted: 19 April 2021 / Published: 22 April 2021
This article analyzes the environmental opportunities and limitations of digitalization in the agricultural sector by applying qualitative governance analysis. Agriculture is recognized as a key application area for digital technologies, including artificial intelligence. This is not least because it faces major sustainability challenges, especially with regard to meeting the climate and biodiversity targets set out in the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the water-related objectives of EU environmental legislation. Based on an overview of the possible applications of digital technologies in agriculture, the article offers a status quo analysis of legal acts with relevance to digitalization in the EU agricultural sector. It is found that a reliable legal framework with regard to product liability and product safety, as well as data privacy, data access, and data security is important in this context. In addition, the European Common Agricultural Policy, as the most important funding instrument for digital innovations in the agricultural sector, should be designed in such a way that it links digitalization-related objectives more closely with sustainability targets. So far, the existing EU governance does not fully exploit the potentials of digitalization for environmental protection, and sight is lost of possible negative side effects such as rebound and shifting effects. Therefore, the article also offers proposals for the optimization of EU governance. View Full-Text
Keywords: digitalization; artificial intelligence; agriculture; precision farming; environmental law; agricultural law; sustainability; governance; climate; biodiversity digitalization; artificial intelligence; agriculture; precision farming; environmental law; agricultural law; sustainability; governance; climate; biodiversity
MDPI and ACS Style

Garske, B.; Bau, A.; Ekardt, F. Digitalization and AI in European Agriculture: A Strategy for Achieving Climate and Biodiversity Targets? Sustainability 2021, 13, 4652. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094652

AMA Style

Garske B, Bau A, Ekardt F. Digitalization and AI in European Agriculture: A Strategy for Achieving Climate and Biodiversity Targets? Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4652. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094652

Chicago/Turabian Style

Garske, Beatrice; Bau, Antonia; Ekardt, Felix. 2021. "Digitalization and AI in European Agriculture: A Strategy for Achieving Climate and Biodiversity Targets?" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4652. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094652

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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