With smart, science-based policies, California shows the world it’s possible to reduce emissions, protect the environment, and grow the economy at the same time.

In a pathbreaking new development, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law directing the state to run its electricity grid on 100 percent clean energy sources by 2045. It’s the most far-reaching clean energy goal of any state so far, but it’s also just the latest example of the state’s leadership in implementing commonsense, science-based protections. It was the first state to seriously address smog—years before Congress passed the Clean Air Act—and, since then, it has implemented model pollution control, climate, and conservation measures while expanding its economy at the same time.

While California’s leadership is widely recognized, less well-known is the indispensable role the Union of Concerned Scientists has played in providing the technical foundation for California’s enlightened energy and environmental policies.