At a bill signing in Long Beach, Brown compared the shaping of California's climate change policy to Noah building the Ark.
Brown argued the push to reduce emissions from "super pollutants" would help spur advances in technology.
"By pioneering ways of avoiding the poison of black carbon, methane and flourocarbons we build the economy, we create the jobs, we protect our future and we make ourselves all healthy," said Brown.
The targets aim to decrease hydroflourocarbons like air conditioning coolants and methane pollution 40 percent from 2013 levels by 2030. Under the new law, soot pollutants including diesel emissions would be cut in half by 2050.
Dave Clegern is a spokesman with the California Air Resources Board. He says that while these "super pollutants" are in the atmosphere for a relatively short time they actually trap more heat than carbon dioxide.
"We are hoping that by getting a quick handle on these we can kind of get a jump on our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because we would be taking things out of the air that warm very rapidly, much more rapidly than carbon dioxide," Clegern said.
Manure from livestock operations and organic material in landfills are two major sources of methane emissions in California. Hydroflourocarbons are chemicals found in aerosol products and insulation foam.