Finland names new environment minister

Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Finland's new Environment Minister. (Yle Häme)
Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Finland’s new Environment Minister. (Yle Häme)
Finland’s new Environment Minister is to be Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, who until her selection had served as Prime Minister Alexander Stubb’s special advisor. She is also a deputy chair of his conservative National Coalition Party.

She replaces the Green League’s Ville Niinistö, who resigned from the government along with his party colleague and International Development Minister Pekka Haavisto in protest at the government’s approval of changes to the Fennovoima nuclear plant permit.

Grahn-Laasonen’s term in office could be short, as the government has a very narrow majority in Parliament and elections are set for less than seven months from now.

On Tuesday it was announced that the remaining four members of Stubb’s coalition government have agreed to split the Greens’ ministerial portfolios between the Social Democratic Party – who will appoint a minister for international development – and the National Coalition Party taking over the environment role.

Stubb told Yle on Wednesday that he will also put the new environment minister in charge of a cross-party review of legislation, looking for ways to cut unnecessary red tape. The NCP MP Sanni Grahn-Laasonen has been one of the leaders of calls to dismantle Finland’s ”pointless laws”.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Oil and gas consultations in Canada’s eastern Arctic next week, CBC News

Finland:  Finland’s economic minister says Fennovoima reactor can go ahead, Greens may quit cabinet, Yle News

Greenland: Statoil awarded exploration licence off Greenland, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Oil, Industry and Arctic Sustainability, Deutsche Welle’s Ice-Blog

Russia:  Russia sees Wrangel Island oil and gas potential; Greenpeace eyes an eastern Arctic front, Alaska Dispatch

United States:  Gasline partners take steps toward permitting, marketing of project in Alaska, Alaska Public Radio Network

Yle News

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