The United Nations Climate Change Conference recently met in Paris to discuss global climate change and its impact. The UNCCC had been in session since Nov. 30 and continued until Dec. 11. A few of the nations involved are France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and Russia. There are 43 member parties total in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

France, the host of this year’s UNCCC, can be considered the model country for the UNFCCC, generating over 90% of its energy via zero carbon sources, such as nuclear, hydroelectric, and wind sources, since 2012. Most of France’s energy is produced by nuclear sources, reducing greenhouse gases and providing a model for a safe, efficient energy system.

The agreements reached at the UNCCC will be legally binding on all member countries that agree to the framework. The topics of note at this year’s UNCCC are the Kyoto Protocol and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDDplus). The Kyoto Protocol requires member countries of the UNFCCC to both reduce and keep vigilant track of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases in an effort to reduce the adverse effects on the global climate caused by both.

REDDplus is an agreement that involves issues related to the contribution to climate change by developing countries, and dictates that carbon emissions related to deforestation be curbed. It also deals with the preservation of forests in general, promoting the wise use of forests as well as enhancing forest carbon stocks.

The United States, along with over 30 other countries, already submitted its plan for combating climate change to the UNFCCC at the beginning of this year, declaring that its goal is to reduce its emissions by 26-28% of its 2005 levels by the year 2025, with an eye toward economy wide-emission reductions of 80% by 2050.