Many wealthy men have claimed to be philanthropists, however, compared to Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, they may now fall short.
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley
Kjell Inge Roekke is the tenth-richest man in Norway, a self made billionare with a net worth of over $2 billion. Despite his current social standing, he came from more humble roots, starting his working life off as a fisherman before making his fortune in the oil industry.
Described as “a flamboyant billionaire with an explosive temper and a taste of the supersized,” he has not always been seen in the best light. However, a recent announcement made in an interview with Oslo’s Aftenposen newspaper may change the many peoples’ opinions of this philanthropist.
Roekke will be funding a state-of-the-art ship, designed to perform marine research while removing up to five tons of plastic from the ocean on a daily basis, melting it down and to ensure that the plastic can no longer cause any harm in the world’s oceans.
“I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned,” he states, ”This ship is part of that.”
The new ship will be called REV, which is short for Research Expedition Vessel. The purpose of this vessel will be to seek an answer regarding how we can better control the ever-growing problem of plastics being discarded of in our water ways. It will be outfitted with the best gear available including air drones, an auditorium and extensive lab space. The ship’s cost was not disclosed.
The World Wildlife Fund will manage the operations of the ship. “We are far apart in [our] views on oil, and we will continue to challenge Roekke when we disagree with him,” stated WWF chief Nina Jensen, “but in this project we will meet to collectively make a big difference in the environmental struggle.”