Could you explain to our readers when you decided to become a politician?
There was never a clear decision “to become a politician”. In the first half of the 1980ies I was very angry for some local decisions in my home town Tampere, destyroying of an old factory which was an important part of the cultural landscape of the downtown area. At the same time the Green movement was emerging in Finland, and in my home town also. I knew some of the first Greens.
I was also active in some other grassroot movements and in the feminist
movement. As an youg energy engineer I was also deeply worried about the unsustainable energy policy of the whole rich part of the world. When I was asked to become one of the candidates in the Green list in the communal elections in 1984 I agreed. I was elected to the city council. In 1989 we had a very big city planning fight, again about an old factory area in downtown, and I became a kind of personification of the movement wanting to protect these factories. In the next parliament elections in 1991 I was elected to the parlament and since that I have been re-elected into the parliament for 3 times.
But I feel this to be a phase in my life rather than a career.

Did you have strong political beliefs during your youth?
During my university study years I was a very enthusiastic participant of the
left student movement.

Was the choice of becoming a “full time politician” difficult to make? Why?
I have never made that kind of decision. I have just decided to candidate and I have been elected. But I do not think that I will continue this until I reach the retirement age.

If you had to describe your political convictions with 5 words…
Only a fair and just world can be a safe world.

How could you present the Green party to our readers who don’t know it?
We want to deepen the democracy. A true democracy is not only elections in some regular intervals but also true interaction with the decision makers and the citizens.
We want to build peace and global justice. In the present world the richest 20 % earn 80 times as much compared to the poorest 20%. Such a world cannot be safe.
We want to build an ecologically sustainable world, with the help of modern intelligent technology, and as a part of that a transfer from fossil and nuclear energy to renewable energy sources. Without ecological sustainability we reduce the possibilities of future generations.

As a member of the Parliament, what will be your priorities for the near
future?
My priority nr. 1 is global climate policy. To promote the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol. But it is important to understand that Kyoto Protocol is only the first step. To combat climate change we must in the next 50-100 years recude the global greenhouse gas emissions with two thirds from the present level, and the rich countries must do even more. This means that we must build an entirely new kind of energy economy.

What are the positive and negative aspects of being a politician?
Positive: Interesting and challenging.
Negative: The work is endless and you have to face hate, anger and negative competition almost every day.

Do you consider it as a profession or is it more than that?
When you are a full time politician it is a profession. But you need to have a passion for a better world. But I hope that for me being politician is not the last thing to do before I get retired.

If you had the possibility to totally change your profession. What would you choose?
I was a freelance writer when I was first time elected to the Parliament and I think to return to that work again some day.

Why do you think that in Europe people become less and less interested in
politics?
Things get more and more complicated. It is more and more difficult to follow
the political decision making.

What should be done to change this situation?
The media has a great responsibility. I wish that there would be more reporting about the real substances dealt in political decision making. Of course also we politicians should speak a clearer language.

What are your professional or personal projects for the future?
I have a plan for my next book but I do not know when I will have time to write that book.