image from easymoneyblogspot.com
It's amazing but true: every year the Times newspaper publishes the Rich List: a list of the richest people in the land, in order of their wealth. This year they have compiled a special Green Rich List, featuring "100 tycoons or wealthy families worth £200m or more who have made either serious investments in green technology and businesses or hefty financial commitments to environmental causes. In total, the Green 100 are worth nearly £267 billion." Who knew!
Warren Buffet: image from the Times
Many of the 35 Americans are from Silicon Valley. Having made their first fortunes in microchips, the internet or software, Google’s Larry Page (#10) and Sergey Brin (each worth £7.5 billion) are turning to green investments. So is T. Boone Pickens (#25), who is spending part of his fortune on filling the Texas Panhandle with wind turbines. According to the Times, the Americans are "spending their fortunes on direct environmental activism, saving large tracts of wilderness from developers, endowing university research into green energy, climate change and the like."
The 17 Chinese tycoons are involved in solar and electric-car technology.
There are 10 British or British-based tycoons on the list. Richard Branson is investing in alternative fuels. Sadly, "there is little evidence of any appetite among Britain’s super-rich. Firmly rooted in property, finance or retailing, they have little time or surplus wealth for anything other than lip service to green issues."
Aloys Wobben: image from the Times
The seven German tycoons are largely involved in wind turbines. Aloys Wobben ( #21) built his first wind turbine in his back garden and now has 6,000 staff and exports sophisticated turbines all over the world. Twins Andreas and Thomas Strungmann built a pharmaceutical fortune, sold it and put their euros into saving a German solar company last year .
The Canadian contingent: Jeff Skoll, number 25, first president of eBay and now into Tesla electric cars. David Werkland, number 61 cleans up cleans up old industrial sites and offers oil and gas well servicing.
Women on the list: at number 19: Alicia and Tannetta Fentener van Vlissingen Dutch sisters who are into African conservation. Number 44: two American sisters who are involved in the World Wildlife Fund: Caroline Getty and Anne Earhart.
Wendy McCaw: image from the Times
A big cheer for Wendy McCaw, number 66: she made a fortune on her divorce and invested it all in "improving ocean water quality by reducing stream pollution, the return of the grey wolf to the West, worked to preserve whale breeding habitats and backed sustainable agriculture in Mexico’s Yaqui Valley." Teresa Heinz, John Kerry's wife is number 70. The Green Rich List