Today, ResponsiBank Indonesia Coalition, a coalition of Indonesian civil society organisations (CSOs) filed a formal complaint against ING for its financing of two new coal plants in Indonesia.
The coal-fired power plants have caused environmental damage and led to human rights abuses and corruption. The lodging of this formal complaint coincides with ING’s annual shareholders meeting that takes place today.
ING is financing Cirebon 2 coal plant for US$592 million. ING also financed Cirebon 1 coal-fired power plant, and provided a US$ 182 million loan to Marubeni, the company behind the construction of Cirebon 2.
Ah Maftuchan, Executive Director, Prakarsa, member of ResponsiBank Indonesia calls on “ING to share responsibility for toxic substances in the environment, damage to farmers and fishing communities, and deaths from air pollution. Every new coal-fired power plant in Indonesia leads to an average of 600 more deaths a year. Critical that ING seriously considers the concerns of local Indonesians about corruption and human rights violations as a result of the new coal-fired power plants in Indonesia, and act on them. If ING is unwilling or unable to do so, it should take responsibility and stop financing coal plants in Indonesia.”
Meiki W. Paendong, Executive Director of WALHI West Java branch, said that, “Cirebon 2 coal plant, the funding of which is supported by ING, has hurt the environment and led to a loss of livelihoods for hundreds of salt farmers, while causing the fishing areas to narrow. ING does not take responsibility for all the impact of the coal plant projects in Cirebon. It is time for ING to stop and no longer fund the coal business, especially in the coal-fired power plant.”
The complaint against ING was filed by Responsibank Indonesia, a 13 member-strong coalition of Indonesian CSOs that are part of Fair Finance Asia and Fair Finance International networks which also includes the Dutch Fair Bank Guide. The complaint, addressed to Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of ING, urges the bank to take 3 concrete steps:
- Publicly explain the exact measures the bank has taken to prevent environmental destruction and human rights violations due to Cirebon Coal Plant 1 and the new Cirebon Coal Plant 2.
- Publicly explain what exact measures ING has taken to prevent corruption, and what measures ING took after it became clear that corruption played a role in obtaining the environmental permit for Cirebon Coal Plant 2.
- If ING is unwilling or unable to provide concrete answers on these questions, stop further funding of Cirebon Coal Plant 2.
In 2017 and 2018, Indonesian CSOs already communicated their concerns to ING about its financing of yet another coal plant in Indonesia. ING responded to the first letter in very general terms, and did not respond to the second letter at all. As a result, Indonesian CSOs have now chosen for the first time to file a formal complaint with ING at its official complaints desk. The complaint has also been shared with the Dutch Ministers of Finance, Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation and the Dutch Parliament.**
ResponsiBank Indonesia, a part of the Fair Finance Asia and Fair Finance International networks, is committed to ensuring that financial institutions’ funding decisions respect the social and environmental well-being of local communities. The goal of this thirteen member coalition is to encourage banks investing in Indonesia to adopt genuine sustainable banking policies and practices that are in line with the Paris Agreement goals, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).
Note to editors:
For more information, please contact
Sawung, Campaign Manager WALHI, +62 815 6104606 or +63 999 412 0029 (WhatsApp only), firstname.lastname@example.org
Jules van Os, press officer Oxfam Novib, +31 6 51573683, jules.van.Os@oxfamnovib.nl.
Please visit https://responsibank.id/ for more information on the Responsibank Indonesia.