#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Liliana Karesh

#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Liliana Karesh

The #BecauseOfYouth Spotlight series highlights young environmentalists in MCE’s service area who are leading the fight against climate change.

Liliana Karesh (she/her) is a dedicated youth climate advocate and co-president of Napa Schools For Climate Action (NS4CA). Liliana plays a vital role in the group by coordinating projects within Napa County. Motivated by the traumatic 2017 Napa wildfires, Liliana is committed to preventing future catastrophes by addressing the impact of global warming. She envisions a clean future where society prioritizes restoring the climate to pre-pollution conditions.

What type of projects or initiatives have you worked on in your community?

As a co-leader of NS4CA, I helped facilitate and complete many projects within Napa County. We hosted a Creative Piece Contest for Napa County high schoolers. That contest, titled Our Future Is in Your Hands, brought awareness to the climate crisis through creative expression. Additionally, we pushed for a ban on new and expanded gas stations. Through our efforts, we obtained ordinances in American Canyon, Calistoga, and Yountville. We also helped the City of Napa pass a moratorium pending zoning code amendment and a St. Helena resolution to amend the zoning code. This effort was done as a part of our Fossil Free Future Project, which calls for net-zero emissions by or before the year 2030.

Most recently, we created a Climate Restoration Resolution, which focuses on implementing elements of Climate Restoration and Literacy in the Napa Valley Unified School District curricula. Currently, we are focusing on extending the ban on new and expanded gas stations to all of Napa County and relaunching the Creative Piece Contest. We also conduct various community presentations to educate our community about climate restoration and fossil fuel consumption.

Why did you decide to join your organization/club and begin working on community engagement efforts?

During the Napa County wildfires in 2017, I experienced the effects of the climate catastrophe firsthand. My family had many discussions about how the blazing wildfires directly resulted from global warming. From then on, I knew I wanted to work in the environmental field and make my mark in helping stop the climate catastrophe. My older sister, Alisa Karesh, engaged with various environmental organizations and enacted change within Napa County. Inspired by her work, I launched my own climate activism journey after I entered high school by immersing myself in various climate policy organizations, such as Napa Schools For Climate Action, Napa Sierra Club, and engaging with Congressman Mike Thompson’s office.

What are some ideas you have to make our world greener and cleaner?

First, we must cut the pollution at the source. Stop emitting further harm and bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by or before 2030. We must also restore our climate to pre-pollution conditions by utilizing natural climate restorers, such as ocean-iron fertilization, and other technology to remove pollutants from our atmosphere. Finally, we must stop polluting the Earth and reduce pollutants through climate restoration.
What is your favorite memory at your organization/club?

One of my favorite memories from being a co-president of Napa Schools For Climate Action is when co-president, Allison Bencsik, and I, presented during the Yountville City Town Council meeting. We presented two main asks:

  1. Pass an ordinance prohibiting establishment of new gas stations and expansion of existing gas stations.
  2. Strengthen the Tree-Protection Ordinance to prevent further deforestation efforts.

It was one of the first times I felt the true power of engaging with local government, as Alison and I progressed from public commenting, to meeting with government officials, to requesting an official agenda item, and then to presenting our asks to the Town Council. It was so gratifying that both asks were adopted.

Opt Up to MCE Deep Green

Opt In to MCE Light Green

Energy supply project development

Fill out the interest form below to get started!

Complete the form below to express interest in our EV Instant Rebate or for any questions related to EVs or EV incentives. You’ll hear back from our partners at Energy Solutions within 2 business days.

Marketing, community outreach, creative, and event production

Energy efficiency, EV, and load shifting program implementation and evaluation

Non-energy related services and construction

Connect with a dedicated energy coach

Technology, finance, and human resources