What Is Google Camp and Why Are Celebs Receiving Backlash For Attending?

Celebs like Katy Perry, Leo DiCaprio, Harry Styles, and Prince Harry headed to Google Camp 2019 in Sicily to talk climate change...except they took private jets to get there.

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Over the past 24 hours, you may have heard about Google Camp, a (formerly) top-secret event where some of the world's most influential people gathered in Sicily, Italy for a three-day private event to discuss important global issues. This year's topic was, naturally, climate change as we are in dire need of making concrete changes by 2030 before we are unable to repair irreversible catastrophic damages.

The problem? Celebrities and top global leaders—which reportedly included Katy Perry, Priyanka Chopra, Harry Styles, Leo DiCaprio, Prince Harry, and even former President Barack Obama—took yachts and private planes to get there, thus emitting an overwhelming amount of greenhouse gas into the air.

Royal reporter Rebecca English reported on the news this morning, stating Buckingham Palace refuses to discuss the claims (perhaps because this was supposed to be a secret event in the first place). Harry apparently even delivered a speech barefoot.

"Prince Harry faces accusations of hypocrisy as he is said to have flown by private jet & helicopter to Google jaunt for a speech on climate change," she tweeted. "If true, a huge error of judgement-compounded by Buckingham Palace’s astonishing refusal to discuss the claims."

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According to Page Six, the event reportedly cost Google around $20 million and was hosted at the luxurious Sicilian Verdura Resort with performances by Coldplay's Chris Martin. I mean, what would a discussion on climate change be without a performance of "The Scientist?"

This post will be updated as more information becomes available about Google Camp 2019.

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Rachel Epstein
Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is an editor at Marie Claire, where she writes and edits culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also manages the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game, finding a new coffee shop, or analyzing your cousin's birth chart—in no particular order.