Ludwig: Seeking Space for CSO

4 December 2018


Ludwig never thought he’d look back fondly on the times of the Warsaw Polish Presidency, with visions of abundant WiFi and plenty of seats, tables and plug sockets in the donut- shaped COP19 venue. These dreams were shattered. Instead of finding ready spaces for civil society (and anyone else who does not have megabucks or the lobbying power required to obtain a delegation for spaces to rest his for any available office), Ludwig now finds himself on an epic quests for water, weary feet (and check his weary inbox), for meeting space, power source he can possibly scavenge, and above all an epic quest to find the vanishing spaces! The venue site doesn’t seem to be lacking in space; Ludwig has to walk 8 km a day to get from zone A to zone G. Ludwig is in awe of a venue that manages to both have too few meeting rooms and too much space between them.

Now, Ludwig wants to give the Polish Presidency the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they just got a bit too keen on the concept of gamification. Maybe they just want to inject some energy and fun into our COP experience. Or, maybe they got the wrong impression of what we meant when we pushed for capacity building for resilience… But Ludwig noticed that there is so much less space at this COP. And it’s not just for civil society expression (including spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations), but for the day-to-day COP work and constituency coordination that allow the civil society to be most effective in supporting the operationalization of the Paris Agreement.

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