Societies are increasingly characterised by increasing mobility of people and materials. Consequently, harmful environmental impacts of transport are likely to increase unless specific policies aimed at mitigating these impacts can be successfully implemented. Based on EU-level requirements for carbon dioxide emission reductions, a car tax reform was enacted in Finland in 2008. By using the environmental protection process (EPP) framework as a conceptual tool, we perform a quantitative content analysis of media discussion of the car tax reform. The EPP framework is an integrative tool, aimed at an overall view of the characteristics of environmental problems and mitigation measures. The results show that societal factors, emissions, measures and the potential side-effects of the reform dominated the media discussion. Short-term impacts were emphasised over longer-term perspectives in the discussion’s future-orientation. Overall, it seems that in spite of a relatively wide-ranging discussion, the media debate contributed only marginally to public understanding of the prerequisites for environmentally sustainable transport.
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