In the interest of supporting green industries, members of the House of Assembly passed a resolution on Aug. 26 to add certain energy-based goods to the list of zero-tax items coming through customs.
The resolution covers items categorised in “renewable energy (wind, solar and other systems); energy storage; and energy-efficient equipment and transportation.” The rate would last for two years before being reassessed.
Premier Andrew Fahie said when introducing the resolution that it was based on both global and regional standards for green initiatives.
“Climate change is one of the most urgent problems facing the Virgin Islands. Countries like ours are only too familiar with the dangers that climate change present,” Mr. Fahie said, pointing especially to increased hurricane activity and rising sea levels.
Transportation, Works and Utilities Minister Kye Rymer said after seconding the resolution that he saw it as a step in the right direction for achieving the territory’s goal of having at least 60 percent of energy come from green sources by 2030.
Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Shereen Flax-Charles voiced her excitement for the resolution as well, saying that it would benefit the graduates of H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s solar technician programme.
Opposition member Mark Vanterpool said green energy is an important issue for all members to unite and support. No one spoke in opposition.
The resolution passed with 11 ayes and two absences.