We see it on the news, in our Facebook feeds, on our weather apps: record-breaking temperatures in the past decade, in 2015, and now again in 2016. Add to that the increasing incidence of extreme droughts, forest fires and storms—and the resulting loss of human lives and livelihoods—and it’s clear that adaptation to climate change has never been more urgent.And now finally, adaptation seems to be moving into the action phase.Historically, adapting to the impacts of a warmer world has never gotten as much attention as the need for reducing emissions—a problem, since climate change has progressed beyond the point where a mitigation-only strategy can succeed. The field of adaptation has matured over the past several years, however, and it’s now backed by both political and practical momentum.Paris Has Shifted the Political DynamicThe Paris Climate Agreement put adaptation in the spotlight, placing it on par with mitigation by creating a long-term adaptation goal and “cycles of action” for countries to renew and increase the ambition of their adaptation plans over time. Even in the run-up to the Agreement’s adoption, the vast majority of countries submitted national climate plans—or “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs)—that included adaptation goals, priorities and needs, even though they were not required to do so. The talks in Paris also made it clear that all countries are expected to take adaptation action, but that their approaches can be flexible to accommodate countries’ unique circumstances.Of course, funding is a pre-requisite for action. Although funding for adaptation has lagged behind funding for mitigation, the final text of the Paris Agreement supports a balance of climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. The Agreement will direct an increased share of the $100 billion of annual climate finance provided by developed countries towards adaptation in developing nations.Some countries are not waiting for additional funding to show their commitment: At the signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement two weeks ago, 15 countries not only signed the Agreement, but also officially joined by depositing their “instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.” These early joiners were mostly small island states, which are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.Political Momentum Is Spurring Practical ActionIt’s clear that this political momentum is also being translated into concrete action on the ground. For example, the UN Capital Development Fund’s Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) helps build the capacity of local governments, who are on the front lines of adapting to climate change, to access and utilize adaptation finance. These local governments are using resources transferred from their national governments to systematically assess climate risks, raise climate awareness among citizens, and build climate-resilient bridges, roads and other projects to reduce risks identified. At the same time, LoCAL is helping national governments build lasting systems for transferring this adaptation finance, for holding local governments to account for effective spending, as well as for effectively tracking and learning best practices from implemented projects.The LoCAL program took its inspiration from another set of players that have been forging ahead with adaptation action at a rapid pace—cities. As evidenced by cities’ enthusiastic presence at the Paris negotiations, urban areas are rapidly innovating and sharing solutions for adapting to climate change. Twenty four city governments around the world have pledged 10 percent of their budgets to climate resilience, a total of $5.2 billion that will directly benefit 33 million people. Rio de Janeiro, for example, has taken this pledge to heart in its recently launched Municipal Resilience Plan, which includes a range of interventions to prevent severe damage from floods and landslides, improve health and livelihoods in slum communities, and set up and fund a system of data and indicators to track resilience-building over time. The Adaptation Futures Conference Is the Next Opportunity for ActionIt’s important that this momentum continues to build, and the next big opportunity is this week’s Adaptation Futures conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Held every two years, Adaptation Futures is an important forum for hundreds of practitioners, policy makers and scientists to share, learn and move the adaptation field forward. WRI will contribute tools, knowledge and solutions on the topics of tracking adaptation, green water utilities, financing adaptation and analyzing flood risk.Hopefully, as adaptation solutions become as ubiquitous as the warning signs of climate change, we’ll see the spotlight on adaptation grow stronger and larger.
House Flipping Remains Preferred Strategy Among Investors A nationwide survey conducted by Auction.com, a leading online real estate marketplace, showed a continuation in January of a trend seen in the fourth quarter of 2014—that of investors’ preference to flip houses rather than rent them out.Even as the demand for rental housing has increased in most markets, investors continue to prefer to flip houses due to a recent combination of price appreciation and decreased inventory, according to Auction.com. About 50.2 percent of investors surveyed in January said they preferred to flip the homes they purchased, while 47.5 percent said they prefer a hold-to-rent strategy (2.2 percent surveyed said they were undecided). These percentages were little changed from Q4.”Considering recent reports that have suggested a shortage of rental units in some metropolitan areas, we’d expect to see more investors starting to move toward a buy-and-hold strategy to address this market opportunity,” Auction.com EVP Rick Sharga said. “We know anecdotally that some flippers purchase homes specifically to sell them to other investors who repurpose the properties as rental units. But, it will be interesting to see if more investors move away from flipping and towards rental strategies over the next few months if demand for rental housing continues to rise.”Though the survey found that more investors preferred flipping over renting overall in January, the results varied according to the investor profile and the type of auction (live versus online). Among investors making a one-time purchase, 67.5 percent preferred a hold-to-rent strategy compared to 29.1 percent who said they preferred to flip. The majority of real estate investors preferred flipping over renting (51.7 percent to 46.3 percent), while investors working on behalf of another investor also showed a propensity toward flipping over renting out the properties they purchased (60.2 percent compared to 37.6 percent).Investors who purchased their properties through live auctions appeared to show a preference toward flipping in January. Flipping was the preferred strategy over renting in all but two of the 10 states where Auction.com conducted live events during the month: Georgia and Missouri. The state with the highest percentage of investors who purchased properties at live auctions and preferred flipping was Arizona, with 74.3 percent compared to 20 percent who said they would rent. Overall, 56.2 percent of investors who purchased properties at live auctions in January said they preferred to flip, compared to 41 percent who said they intended to rent the properties out.Meanwhile, 54.9 percent of investors surveyed in January who purchased properties through online auctions said they intended to rent, compared to 43.4 percent who said they preferred flipping. Auction.com Home Flipping Investors Rental Properties 2015-02-16 Seth Welborn February 16, 2015 554 Views Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News