Photo by Rural Explorer on Unsplash

When I moved to Napa from the East Bay, the first thing I did was find out where I could best volunteer support for local climate action initiatives. I messaged the City of Napa and they directed me to the local group of activists: Napa Climate NOW! When I emailed the contact person that they put me in touch with, I was invited to the next Communications meeting and the rest (as they say) is history. The group has hosted multiple online and offline events, helped create the Countywide Climate Action Committee, brought in guest speakers, made phone calls, and met with leaders. I was impressed at how many existing relationships that the group had already built – from our mailing list that includes hundreds of people to our relationship with local press – Napa Climate NOW! had a lot of momentum and plenty of accomplishments. 

But one of the key takeaways that I heard in almost every presentation – whether it was to an elected leader or someone’s Mom who had decided to join a meeting is that Napa Climate NOW’s approach to addressing the climate crisis was to focus on three things: reduce, reflect, restore. That is: we must reduce the waste and pollutants that we’re producing, find new ways to reflect light back into the atmosphere as our ice sheets used to do for us, and restore (or preserve) as much of our natural landscape as we can – our forests, our reefs, our hillsides, as they are the lungs of our planet. 

So how are we doing those things here in Napa? Well, let’s take a few of them in order. 

We’re trying to reduce the number of long-term and short-lived climate pollutants in our atmosphere, which means that we need to find some of the more potent sources of carbon, black carbon, and methane and reduce their incidence in our community. Our Built Environment Committee is putting a proposal to require that all new buildings be all-electric so that we reduce the incidence of natural gas in new developments as well as the re-development of existing structures.

When it comes to reflecting, Napa Climate NOW! advocates for Cool Roof 2040 in the General Plan.

Napa is a place known and visited for its natural beauty so you’d think that protecting the land and trees would be a natural priority, but sometimes commercial (and other) interests take over, which is why Napa Climate NOW! introduced the ‘Time Out For Trees’ resolution that would place a temporary moratorium on further tree removal projects until a more comprehensive countywide climate action plan is enacted. 

If you would like to do your part to help address the climate crisis when you are most needed, find out how you can support these (or other) efforts that help to reduce, reflect, and restore in order to save our planet for future generations, then please join Napa Climate NOW’s next climate advocacy training. We guide you through how to talk about climate science, how to talk to elected leaders, how to take activist actions, and orient you to the issues and opportunities local to Napa. Get all that in one afternoon of training and take it with you throughout the year!