Reply to ING Response to ResponsiBank's Complaint Letter on Cirebon Case

23 Februari 2018

To        :

  1.  R.A.J.G Hamers, CEO, chairman Executive Board ING Group, Management Board Banking
  2.   J.V. Timmermans, CFO, member Executive Board ING Group, vice-chairman Management Board Banking
  3.  S.J.A van Rijswijk, CRO, member Executive Board ING Group, vice-chairman Management Board Banking

4. Jeroen van der Veer, Chairman Supervisory Board ING Group

  1.  Hermann-Josef Lamberti, Member and vice-chairman Supervisory Board ING Group
  2.   Jan Peter Balkende, Member Supervisory Board ING Group
  3.   E.F.C.B. Boyer de la Giroday, Member Supervisory Board ING Group
  4.   H. W. Breukink, Member Supervisory Board ING Group
  5.   Mariana Gheorghe, Member Supervisory Board ING Group
  6.   Margarete Haase, Member Supervisory Board ING Group


Referring to Mr. Rijkan Van Zalingen's email responding our complaint letter against ING decision to finance Cirebon Power Plant Unit 2, we as ResponsiBank Indonesia Coalition found that your coal policy still has no impacts at all for ING involvement on controversial Cirebon projects, despite the said publication of “one of the strongest policies worldwide compared to your peer at the time”.  As you may notice in our complaint letter, we highlighted that the Cirebon project has caused major environmental and human rights problems in the region. Despite to your knowledge that the project remains committed to Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standard compliance, the facts in the ground proved otherwise. Not only that the development of the coal power plant caused massive environmental destruction, it also caused adverse impacts to local communities in terms of their livelihood and quality of life.

To remind you of several crucial points on our complaint letter that you’ve missed to response, herewith a list of negative impacts to local communities in Cirebon related to the development of the coal power plant:

  1.        Massive water and air pollution threatened both health condition and income opportunity of local communities. Being located in coastal area, water contamination from the power plant destroyed biodiversity hence make it harder for local small-scale fishermen and salt maker to make a living.
  2.        High level of toxic including mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, and tiny toxic particles produced by coal power plant increased the risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, and respiratory infection among local residents from the surrounding. The exisiting coal-fired power plants in Indonesia cause an estimated 6,500 premature deaths every year. New power plant like Cirebon 2 with 1,000 MW capacity is expected to result, on average, 600 deaths.
  3.        Being a controversial project that raised public resistance, numbers of social conflicts and human right violations arise among local communities.
  4.        There was no proper information disclosure regarding the project’s environmental impact assessment (AMDAL) and environmental license as required by the State Minister for the Environment Regulation No 17/ 2012. Local people who expressed opposition and rejection against the project were excluded from public consultation despite it is mandatory to incorporated the opinion, comment, and suggestion of affected and concerned community.
  5.        Bandung Regional Court in West Java has ordered to revoke the environment permit of the Cirebon coal-fired power plant 2 since the project has violated local spatial planning. Without an environmental permit, the project should not be allowed to continue.

Whold ING accountable for inevitable harm to social and environmental condition in the area due to the project. Being involved in a project that cost negative impacts to the planet and people is definitely contradicting your commitment to develop and strengthen your Environmental and Social Risk policies. We have noted Credit Agricole, a French Bank, became an example of a financial institution who uphold their climate commitment to stop financing coal by withdrawing their financing commitment to the Cirebon project. We request your business is no less than other best practices performed to the transition to low-carbon economy. ING has to be committed to the highest standard possible in sustainability by stop investing in Cirebon coal project.


Best regards,


Ah Maftuchan

National Coordination of ResponsiBank