With the signature by the Government of Japan to its contribution agreement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) now almost 60 per cent of the pledges made to the Fund at its first pledging conference in November 2014 are secured through legally binding contribution agreements. Crossing the threshold of 50 per cent of the pledges covered by these agreements gives the GCF Board the authority to start allocating funding to concrete project and programme proposals. This is a major milestone in the evolution of the Fund and successfully completes a four-year design phase that has shaped the operational policies and procedures of the GCF.  
Under its INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution), Canada proposes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels in 2030. This translates to a 21% reduction below 2005 emissions levels excluding forestry, or 2% below 1990 levels.  


This briefing paper analyses the available information in the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2014 (‘EGR’) and the IPCC AR5 to produce recommended benchmark emission levels for 2020, 2025 and 2030. We evaluate the implications of the data in the 2014 UNEP EGR and the IPCC AR5 for benchmark emission levels that can be used to assess whether the aggregate level of pledges put forward for 2025 and 2030 - in the context of the ADP negotiations - are consistent with limiting warming below 2°C, and with limiting warming below a 1.5°C increase above preindustrial. We also review the outcome of the 2014 UNEP EGR in relation to the emissions gap for 2020, 2025, and 2030. Results are put in the context of the 2013 UNEP EGR and of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and differences explained.  
While the GCF is getting ready to disburse resources, it still awaits authorisation to start committing its resources to specific projects: According to the Fund’s contribution policies, this commitment authority is triggered when contributors realise their pledges through signing official legally binding contribution agreements for 50 percent (USD 4.7 billion) of the total pledges made to the GCF. The following briefing note provides an update on the status of contribution agreements signed by contributor countries as of 30 April 2015 - the Fund's initial deadline to reach the 50 percent threshold.