BORIS JOHNSON'S green conversion is to be welcomed, both as a way of tackling climate change but also as a start on the levelling up agenda.

Of course, the £4bn package is just a drop in the ocean - by comparison, HS2 is costing £100bn - but for the Tees Valley, this could be an exciting moment. Not only does it seem as if the Government is once again putting some oomph behind carbon capture and storage, a notion that had stalled, but also hydrogen appears to be an important fuel for the future, and 50 per cent of the UK's hydrogen is made on Teesside. The North-East, once the home of smokestack industries, could be leading the way into a clean, green future. All of which means jobs.

The last gas central heating system will now be fitted in a new house in 2023, although it is incredible that all the new-builds we already see sprawling across our countryside are not already being future-proofed.

And another practical note: a large proportion of people in this region live in terraced houses - in 10 years' time, are we really all going to have electricity leads trailing across our pavements every night as we recharge our electric cars? More than blue sky thinking about a green future, we need black and white solutions.