Public Perceptions of Biofuels - Case Study: Frames of Biofuel Discussion in the Finnish Context
Biofuels are fuels made of biological materials and they can be used in cars, trucks and other engines. The EU's policy and regulatory framework for bioeconomy and biofuels is seen as a multi-layered and complex issue. Policies around biofuels have developed recently in the EU. Renewable Energy Directive II established a binding target for the use of renewable energy across the European Union by 2030 to be 32% of the total energy production. Finland is a country where the utilization of forest
... iomass has traditions ranging back centuries and continues in the present day with bioenergy holding a central role in the Finnish energy matrix. Our case study is focused on examining the public perceptions of biofuels in Finland and is linked to the discussion about climate change, global warming, and sustainable development. We used a stakeholder approach and mapped key stakeholders in the biofuel sector in Finland from six stakeholder categories: corporations, governmental actors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), municipalities, universities, and the media. We selected 59 online publications for our analysis from a time period between 2010-2019. Frame analysis was conducted using three pairs of polarised frames: environmental positive and negative, economic positive and negative, and technological positive and negative. The results show that for the most part the framing of biofuel discussion in Finland is positive and emphasizes the environmentally and economically positive aspects. The negative aspects that came to front are especially in the notions of economic costs and in arguments for environmental calculations. The EU legislation itself is seen as a background to all this discussion and is itself not scrutinized extensively by the various stakeholders.