The state that introduced the “car culture” to America—as well as the term “smog”—this week celebrated the 10th anniversary of an inspiring idea to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere and make the future a little more habitable for its citizens.

In an unusual bipartisan celebration in Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined past and present state legislative leaders to commemorate the 10th anniversary of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, popularly known as AB 32. The legislation committed the state to roll back its aggregate greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—a CHG reduction goal that was the world’s most ambitious a decade ago. And while many observers both nationally and around the world predicted that AB 32’s goals could not be reached by the statutory deadline and would possibly cripple California’s economy because some industries might decide to leave; neither prediction proved true.

Today, California is on track to meet its AB 32-mandated GHG emission reductions before the 2020 deadline.

“Ten years ago we passed a law that I think is the most powerful environmental law, period,” Schwarzenegger said, adding that no other state or country has “come close” to California’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. He had something to say as well about climate change deniers. “How stupid must you be to say that greenhouse gas is not a pollutant. We pushed back and pushed back and we ‘terminated’ them. (opponents).”

Brown saluted Schwarzenegger for focusing on the environment during his administration, when other Republicans in Sacramento would not. He said Schwarzenegger originally pushed for the proposed water conveyance tunnels under the Sacramento Delta and statewide high-speed rail, a pair of divisive projects which Brown is still fighting for.

“Arnold, thanks for being for climate change, cap-and-trade, the tunnels projects, high-speed rail and all the other unpopular issues I’m saddled with,” Brown joked.