Google splashes $20million on Italian climate change party

The $20million climate change party: How Camp Google racked up an 800-tonne carbon footprint flying ‘hypocritical’ celebrities to environmental talking shop on 114 private jets to watch Coldplay and hang out on mega-yachts

  • Some 114 planes were set to land in Palermo for the elite gathering which has faced claims of hypocrisy
  • Guests including Katy Perry and Bradley Cooper stayed at a luxury resort where rooms cost almost $2,000 
  • Prince Harry is understood to have given a passionate, barefoot speech at the secretive Sicily climate event
  • Buckingham Palace has today refused to say whether the Duke of Sussex travelled to Italy on a private jet  

It is hard to put a price on saving the planet – but Google now has an eye-watering tab to show for its attempt. 

The tech giant spent an estimated $20million on an extravagant climate change bash for a host of A-list celebrities this week, flying hundreds of guests across the world and treating them to three days of luxury at a Sicilian seaside resort. 

Today the celebrity guests, who included Prince Harry, Harry Styles, Naomi Campbell and Bradley Cooper, faced ridicule and accusations of hypocrisy for meeting in Italy to save the planet while leaving a huge carbon footprint of their own. 

The 300 guests at the secretive camp, who also included Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, mingled on $400million mega-yachts and cruised around Sicily in $200,000 cars before watching Coldplay’s Chris Martin perform in ancient ruins which cost another $100,000 to rent – even before the show was put on. 

Google picked up the tab for their flights, accommodation and entertainment during the three-day ‘Google Camp’, sending the costs spiralling. 

With environmental costs thrown in – guests arriving in Palermo on 114 fuel-guzzling planes, roaring around Italy in Maseratis and enjoying the well-watered golf courses and swimming pools at their $903-a-night resort – the climate party quickly made a mockery of its grandiose intentions. 

Britain’s Prince Harry is understood to have given a passionate barefoot speech about saving the planet, although Buckingham Palace has refused to confirm his attendance or whether he too travelled by private jet. 

‘This is not something we are commenting on,’ a spokeswoman told MailOnline.

BBC presenter Andrew Neil was among those to point out the irony, saying: ‘Scores of celebrities and the rich have arrived in Sicily for a Google conference. They came in 114 private jets and a flotilla of super yachts. The conference is on global warming.’  

The $20million climate change party: This diagram shows the huge cost – financial and environmental – of Google’s extravagant summer bash where A-list celebrities gathered to discuss saving the planet 

Singer Katy Perry and Belgian fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg travelling to the event

A performance at the Temple of Hera at the Paestum Archaeological UNESCO World Heritage site where a host of celebrities gathered for the Google Camp climate change conference. Coldplay’s Chris Martin was said to be the headline act 

Prince Harry is said to be on the guest list alongside Barack Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio for Google’s Italian climate change conference this week

Sources told Page Six that the total cost of the Google-funded showpiece would run to around $20million. 

The combined carbon footprint of dozens of flights from Google’s Los Angeles base to the Verdura resort would also come to around 780 tonnes of C02, although it is not clear where all the guests travelled from. 

Perry and Bloom were picked up by David Geffen’s $400,000 super-yacht before it continued on its way up the Italian coast.  

The resort features thalassotherapy pools – a type of therapy using seawater – as well as well-kept, water-sapping golf courses and a selection of swimming pools and spas. 

The most expensive rooms cost nearly $2,000 a night and the bill for the whole 300-guest party will have run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

The summer party also splashed out energy costs on bright-coloured lighting at a Chris Martin concert in the ancient ruins.  

Taking aim at the guests, Boston Robb said: ‘Tree-hugging celebs take jets to extravagant Google Camp. Ahhh yes they’ll all ‘talk’ about climate change once they all arrive privately in their own jets and yachts.’

Former U.S. House candidate Elizabeth Heng joined in the criticism, saying: ‘How ironic. For all this talk about saving the earth, 114 private jets chartered to attend this conference. Eliminating carbon footprint, eh?’ 

Another Twitter user said: ‘Look, in theory the google camp is a good idea but it’s ironic that all the celebs turn up in private jets and superyachts… then talk about saving the world at a decadently extravagant Italian resort. 

‘Hope they spend some time discussing their own impact on the environment.’

One commenter described guests at the three-day event as the ‘Greenerati’ and scorned them for showing ‘climate concern’ while flying on private planes. 

Gregory Taylor took aim at ‘rich people most likely flying in on private jet and then lecturing us on climate change’. 

Another Twitter user said: ‘Is there anything more hypocritical than a bunch of rich people flying their private jets across the world to sit on yachts and discuss the future of our planet?’  

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was among the guests and reportedly gave a speech about Nelson Mandela at the secretive event.  

Orlando Bloom, Diane Von Furstenberg, Barry Diller arrive at the seventh annual ‘Google Camp

Actor Bradley Cooper was seen arriving by car at the VIP summer retreat hosted by Google

Katy Perry

Harry Styles 

Gayle King 

Diane von Furstenberg

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Leonardo di Caprio

Naomi Campbell 

Stella McCartney 

Barry Diller  

Bradley Cooper

Chris Martin 

Orlando Bloom 

Ben Winston

Jeff Azoff 

Massimo Bottura   


Former President Barack Obama was also rumoured to be among those attending the event, but has not been spotted so far. 

Orlando Bloom, Stella McCartney, Diane Von Furstenberg and Gayle King were also spotted arriving at the Verdura Resort in Sicily for the welcome dinner on Monday. 

On Tuesday, even more guests arrived at the property, with Nick Jonas and new wife Priyanka Chopra leading the charge of celebrities heading to the island for the three-day conference which is believed to have begun on Monday and finished last night. 

Styles was seen behind the wheel of a luxury car while driving with his friends Jeff Azoff and Ben Winston to the temple. 

Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalia, who later performed on stage on Tuesday, posted an picture of herself getting ready for the event and then walking around the temple ruins. 

Coldplay also performed at the temple on the final night on Wednesday.  

Prince Harry also attended the event back in 2017 – and may have taken Meghan Markle along with him.

The pair made their first public appearance together at a polo match in Ascot in May that year, and a week after the Google conference she was spotted in London with her mother celebrating her birthday. 

The event, created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, sees some of the world’s wealthiest business leaders and tech gurus discussing various issues in morning sessions before relaxing in the Italian sunshine in the afternoon.

This year’s secretive camp, where social media is banned and the itinerary locked behind a password-protected site, will focus on tackling global warming, reports the New York Post.

One attendee said: ‘There will likely be discussions about online privacy, politics, human rights, and of course, the environment, which makes it highly ironic that this event requires 114 private jets to happen.’

Luxury megayacht the Andromeda, which is owned by billionaire Kiwi Graeme Hart has been spotted just off shore, as has Barry Diller’s sailing vessel Eos.   

A diagram showing where the secretive celebrity gathering is taking place 

Katy Perry poses with businessman David Geffin in Spain. Both were at the Google event

Celebrities including Katy Perry, pictured, are attending the three-day conference in Sicily. She was dropped off on the megayacht Rising Sun, with other wealthy attendees bringing their private jets

David Geffen’s yacht the Rising Sun dropped off Katy Perry (right) and Orlando Bloom (second left) on Monday, but then continued on its way up the Italian coast

Ciao bella: Google Camp guests are encouraged to bring their families, just like at the Allen & Company conference in Idaho that runs a few weeks prior, and there is no shortage of activities (Rosalia performing on Tuesday night)

Vehicles parked at the Google Camp event where tech giants and celebrities flocked to Sicily for the VIP climate change conference

The Sicilian resort boasts two 18-hole golf courses, a tennis academy and one of the largest spa complexes in all of Europe on its over one mile of private coastline

US business magnate and film producer David Geffen being chauffeured to the star-studded climate change event

These A-List stars were spotted in Monaco after attending the Google Camp. From left to right in the back: Sacha Baron Cohen, Noel Gallagher, Woody Harrelson, Lars Ulrich, Bono, Matthew McConaughey, Bill Gates. Front: Guy Oseary, JR

114 private planes are expected to land at Palermo Falcone Borsellino airport for Google Camp

There was a heavy police presence at the Google Camp where a host of A-list stars turned up for the secretive event 

David Geffen’s Rising Sun did swing by briefly on Monday to drop off Perry and Bloom, but then continued on its way up the Italian coast.

As well as private jets and megayachts, there are buses to herd guests around and a helicopter pad. 

After morning sessions, afternoons are free for guests to relax around the complex and spa, with trips around the coast, to local wineries and to tourist hot spots on offer. 

The resort boasts two 18-hole golf courses, a tennis academy and one of the largest spa complexes in all of Europe on its over one mile of private coastline.

There are a number of suites and private rooms as well as three villas for guests to stay.

Those villas look out on to individual pools as well as the property’s massive infinity pool and stunning private beach, filled with imported white sand, a jetty and even a small carpet to take pampered stars into the crystal blue ocean waters.

On the final night, Google spends close to $100,000 renting the 2,500-year-old Valley of the Temples ruins for a concert and sit-down meal, with Sting performing there last summer.

Google’s VP of engineering Benjamin Treynor Sloss with his wife Christine headed to the event on Monday

On the final night, Google spends close to $100,000 renting the 2,500-year-old Valley of the Temples ruins for a concert and sit-down meal. Pictured: the Temple of Hera lit up in 2018

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