We are proving that California can lead the way on climate while fostering economic growth, good jobs and a prosperous future.

With Assembly Bill 262 — the Buy Clean California Act currently being considered by California lawmakers — we have another opportunity to advance our leadership. We can further cement the gains of the low-carbon approach that California has pioneered over the years.

As recently as 15 years ago, industries across the Golden State were skeptical about our ability to address climate change while maintaining our profitability. But those doubts have largely dissipated. We have found, during the last decade, a growing ecosystem of opportunities to reduce pollution, expand our businesses, and create good jobs for California’s workers and families.

California’s industrial producers have met the challenge of climate change head-on, but we’re by no means alone. Industrial players around the world are in a “race to the top” to deploy cleaner technologies, improve industrial productivity and efficiency, and identify methods of production that reduce process emissions.

We see ourselves as central players in the global effort to cut carbon emissions — not just as targets of government regulations, but as full partners in the effort. The “Buy Clean California” legislation (AB 262) — authored by Assembly members Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, and co-authored by local Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga — would further advance that partnership.

The legislation would set new standards for California state agencies, encouraging them to use the state’s enormous purchasing power to help lower climate pollution by buying materials for construction projects from the cleanest manufacturers. Buy Clean California represents a major opportunity to extend our state’s progress on climate change into industrial products and infrastructure and set an example for the world to follow.

In the case of the steel industry, AB 262 could make a huge difference. Thanks to the advances in and availability of renewable energy and rapid advances in pollution control technology in the production of steel, the industry as a whole has the ability to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions. The cleanest steel factories around the world emit less than half the emissions of their counterparts, for the same quantity and quality of steel.

By requiring agencies like Caltrans and the University of California to consider the carbon content of the steel they purchase, California’s leaders could send a clear signal to the steel marketplace: If you’re making clean steel, we’re buying. Conversely, if you make the dirty stuff, you’re at a competitive disadvantage.

Californians have made clear that we expect our state to lead the world in reducing the pollution that causes climate change. With the support of the governor, Legislature and business leaders, we’ve shown the world that you can have a thriving economy that runs on clean energy, efficient buildings, and modern methods of industrial production.

AB 262, the Buy Clean California Act, will help California reward innovations that slash carbon emissions while fostering a clean economy. In doing so, we can once again claim our leadership in fostering a pro-business, innovative approach to solving climate change — and show the world that, when it comes to action on climate change, California still means business.

Mark Olson is vice president and general manager of Gerdau Steel’s Rancho Cucamonga mill.