Innovate to adapt European agricultures to climate change ? The "Climate Smart Agriculture Booster", a regulatory policy aiming at incentivizing technological innovation
(Centre Alexandre Koyré - EHESS)
Paper short abstract:
I analyze a European policy launched to adapt farming systems to climate change. In the Climate Smart Agriculture Booster, the climate issue is regulated by incitations to technological innovation directed to the private sector, which is considered as the major actor to implement a climate policy
Paper long abstract:
Since the launch of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) in 2008, few studies have analyzed its action. I propose to look at a European public policy driving the adaptation of European agricultures to climate change, through a particular project launched in 2013 by the Climate-KIC: the « Climate Smart Agriculture » (CSA) Booster. The concept of Climate Smart Agriculture was born within climate negotiations in order to guide international public development policies in the fields of agriculture and climate change, and in spite of controversies at the international level, CSA has been translated without tensions in the European level by the Climate-KIC and various research institutions. In this context, climate change is interpreted as an opportunity to boost agriculture's competitiveness and innovation through the promotion of "climate-smart" technologies and tools for precision farming. On the basis of interviews, observations, CSA Booster archives, public reports, legal documents and web sites, we show that the CSA Booster case exemplifies European climate governance led by public-private partnerships: climate is more regulated by incentives to innovate than by legal constraints. In this framing, industrials, businesses and start-ups are considered as strategic partners to implement a public policy in agriculture, unlike more traditional agricultural actors like professional organizations. It also shows, in the context of an economy of technoscientific promises, how technological innovation is promoted both as a solution and a regulation to face climate change.
Technopolitics of integration. Charting imaginaries of innovation in the European Union