A MOTION in Parliament committing us to reducing our carbon emissions to zero by 2050 is a pointless exercise without a plan for achieving this aim.

It will need a massive increase in our production of electricity. Covering the country with windmills, operating at a maximum of 30 per cent efficiency and acres and acres of solar panels, which are probably no more efficient, will not achieve it.

Added to that, our latest projects for two new nuclear power stations seem to be running into difficulties.

Coincidentally, we have now images of devastating floods in East Anglia.

The sight of floods of water running down streets demonstrates the power of flowing water. Now all over the country there are signs of now derelict water mills.

Any town with a river has a Mill Street, leading down, probably, to a weir, and possibly a ‘Mill House’.

There are water mills listed in the Doomsday Book. Most of these sites could be restored to working status.

A water mill is the most carbon-friendly form of power. No raw materials to be shipped in; no noxious waste products to be disposed of; no polluting gases; practically no noise pollution, and virtually no visual offence to the townscape.

As for the size of the installation, the smallest modern turbine is about the size of a dustbin. Such a power station could operate 24 hours of the day. While the wind and the sun are quite unpredictable, rivers flow continually. They very rarely stop.

Getting back to the Wainfleet floods, a river that is controlled in its upper reaches is much less likely to flood. A matter not of flood defences, but flood prevention.

As for the cost of setting up all these little, private, power stations, even if subsidised, it would hardly even pretend to approach the cost of the two nuclear ones that are planned for, without mentioning the eye-watering sums that we were considering committing ourselves to pay for the power for generations to come.

To come nearer home, we have our own tidal lagoon at Carew.

There is a Mill House on the river at Llawhaden.

There is Blackpool Mill waiting to be restored to function. There was a mill on the bridge at Pembroke.

Quoits Mill, on the Pembroke River, indicates what that once was. There was a mill upstream from Haverfordwest. There is a weir just outside the council building, just waiting to be used.

There is Mill House just upstream of Cresswell Quay.

I imagine readers could supply more examples.

Perhaps our local MPs could put down a motion?