Funding is being provided for global nature hotspots and to help polluting UK business cut emissions as the Government pushes environmental action in the run-up to key climate talks.

Six key wildlife hotspots spanning 18 countries – from the Western Congo to the Amazon and the Lower Mekong – are to receive funding from the £100 million biodiverse landscapes fund.

Projects will work with local people and communities to protect and restore landscapes, help rare species such as elephants and rhino, mountain gorillas, tigers and jaguars that live in them, and combat climate change, officials said.

The funding, which counts as official development assistance, is part of efforts on nature and climate ahead of crucial UN Cop26 talks in Glasgow in November.

It is being announced as Boris Johnson calls on countries to commit to more stringent targets for cutting emissions and offering up extra cash to help poorer nations, at the UN general assembly.

On the nature projects, the Prime Minister said: “The global population of animals is plummeting faster than at any time in human history and precious habitats and species are being wiped off our planet.

“We are at a tipping point, and we must act now – right now – to turn the tide of this environmental crisis before it is too late.

“Our Biodiverse Landscapes Fund will invest in six of the most environmentally critical landscapes, spanning 18 countries across the globe, to help to combat climate change and protect rare and endangered species.”

International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “There is no pathway to tackling climate change that does not involve the recovery of nature.”

He added the projects would help reduce poverty and create sustainable development for communities, as well as protect habitats threatened by climate change.

In a separate move, the second phase of the industrial energy transformation fund is being opened for UK businesses in big-emitting industries to bid for a share of a previously-announced £220 million to cut their carbon emissions and energy bills.

The grants of up to £30 million are intended to help them to invest in cleaner technology such as more efficient boilers, electric motors and heat pumps.

The funding will also gives companies the chance to develop technology to capture their industrial emissions, switch the fuels they use and recycle waste heat into renewable electricity, the Government said.

Mr Johnson said: “With innovation and investment across the economy, we can power the UK’s green industrial revolution.

“But we know for the most polluting and energy-intensive businesses, this will mean a big shift in the way they operate,” adding the funding would help them cut emissions, bring down bills and support good jobs.

The first phase of the fund, worth £70 million, is supporting projects such as improving the efficiency of the plant at Saint Gobain Glass UK in North Yorkshire, reducing energy consumption and emissions, and efforts to cut emissions by 90% at Tate & Lyle Sugars’ refinery in Silvertown, London.

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