Napa Climate Summit
The inaugural Napa Climate Summit, “Moving Forward Faster,” was held on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. This solutions-oriented, free community event focused on regional infrastructure projects and government programs that can reduce climate pollutants and generate renewable energy.
“We need a Climate Summit in Napa County because we must move faster and do more to meet the climate crisis,” said St. Helena City Councilmember Anna Chouteau, who serves on the Napa County Climate Action Committee and was one of the event organizers. “More and more people understand the urgency. Leaders in all levels of government, private industries, nonprofits, and schools are setting bigger and bolder goals moving us away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. We can use this momentum by bringing people together to work on higher impact climate smart infrastructure projects.”
Congressman Mike Thompson and his staff participated via video and in person. As the Congressman has frequently been quoted saying, “Climate change is one of the gravest threats we face today. We could get everything else right, but if we fail on climate, it’s all for nothing.” Two-thirds of the climate investments embedded in the Inflation Reduction Act –$250 billion worth – are built directly around Congressman Thompson’s GREEN Act.
“Our community is a leader on climate action, and the Napa Climate Summit is a big step in the right direction bringing people together who are taking climate action throughout Napa County,” he said.
Community members heard from a diverse set of speakers. Davina Hurt, Vice Chair of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Bay Area’s representative on the California Air Resources Board, gave the keynote speech highlighting state and regional policies and resources to help local jurisdictions act. There were also panel presentations moderated by St. Helena and American Canyon City Mangers Anil Comelo and Jason Holley featuring projects such as the American Canyon wastewater treatment plant upgrades that will increase our water supply in Napa County, a public-private partnership between the City of Napa and Napa Recycling and Waste Services that will install technology to harvest methane from organic waste for vehicle fuel and electricity, Napa Valley Transportation Authority (NVTA) projects aimed at reducing emissions and congestion, methane capture opportunities up valley from Upper Valley Disposal Services, and expanded solar power at Napa Sanitation District.
State Senator Bill Dodd and representatives for Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Congressman Thompson, and Marin Clean Energy were on a panel moderated by Julia DeNatale of the Napa Valley Community Foundation on funding from federal, state, regional, and local sources.
The event was hosted by Napa Climate NOW! and sponsored by PG&E. Napa Climate NOW! is a 501(c)(3) community-based organization formed by concerned citizens to advocate for smart climate solutions based on the latest climate science.