Saudi Arabian Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, son of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, is using his riches to promote clean energy in his country.
“In a country that is steeped in conservatism, 38-year-old Prince Khaled is a breath of fresh air, he passionately supports animal rights and strives to bring his country to a more sustainable path in terms of energy,” India Times wrote.
In 2013, he started his own company, called KBW Investments, which deals with the mining, oil and gas industries. While many Saudi Arabians make their profit through the oil industry – with Saudi Arabia being the largest producer of oil – Prince Khaled believes that we should be putting other matters first, including the problem with climate change.
“Climate change and the unjustified consumption of energy are two of the most serious issues we face today at the macro-level,” he said during a business forum in 2015.
Bin Alwaleed believes that using solar power is a great replacement for fossil fuels. According to a report, he invested into placing 100,000 LED units across Amman and the Jordanian countryside, which was an investment that would cut local government power bills by a large 60 percent. In addition, it was a part of a much bigger agreement to invest $400 million towards transportation and the country’s infrastructure.
“I went over there, proposed this idea to King Abdullah and he really liked,” bin Alwaleed said. “He arranged for some meetings with the minister of energy and the minister of municipalities, and that’s how it really became what it is now. We’re changing the entire country’s lighting infrastructure with LEDs.”
Bin Alwaleed is also a strict-vegan; however, he prefers to use the term “plant-based.”
“If I say the ‘v-word,’ people automatically put their guard up. But if you talk plant-based, they’re comfortable and it’s easy to get along with them. I’m trying to push the plant-based movement,” he told National Observer.
Prince Khaled went vegan after a trophy hunting expedition, saying that the trip he took was “cowardly” and that he will never get over the lives he took. However, all of this can be forgotten with his efforts to promote cleaner energy around the Middle East.
“Sure, we’re hurting the environment, but at the end of the day, we’re only hurting ourselves,” he said regarding climate change. “The environment will get hurt to a certain point and then it’s going to backlash on us. Then we’re going to be gone and the world is going to go back to being the beautiful, lush place that we were supposed to inhabit.”