Environmental activists march a short distance for a rally outside the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to coincide with the global protests on climate change Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Various environmental groups in the country are participating in what is expected to be the world's largest mobilization on climate change known as "Global Climate Strikes." (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

The Latest: Thai protesters say there's a climate emergency

September 20, 2019 - 3:31 am

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Latest on the global climate protests being held in cities around the world (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Hundreds of people have marched in the streets of the Thai capital to demand the government take measures to deal with the climate change crisis.

An organizer of the protest says about 250 people, mostly children with their parents, took part in Friday's protest. Many were Westerners.

The organizer, 21-year-old Nanticha Ocharoenchai, says the demonstrators stopped at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to submit an open letter demanding the government declare a climate emergency, ban coal energy by 2025 and completely replace fossil fuel energy with renewable energy by 2040.

The protesters staged a "die-in" outside the ministry to dramatize their concerns, lying down on the pavement with many clutching home-made signs with slogans such as "Clean air is our right."

Similar protests are being held in cities around the world.

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4:55 p.m.

Organizers estimate more than 300,000 protesters have taken to Australian streets in climate action rallies in what would be the largest demonstrations the country has seen since the Iraq war.

School Strike 4 Climate says in a statement 265,000 protesters turned out at demonstrations in seven cities alone. The largest crowd was an estimated 100,000 in Melbourne and 80,000 in Sydney.

Most police services declined to release their own crowd estimates.

Organizers put the crowd in Brisbane at 30,000, while police estimated 12,000. Organizers said 15,000 rallied in Canberra, but police said 7,000.

Australian police have a reputation for underestimating by half crowd number at protests.

Protests were staged in 110 towns and cities across Australia, a country with a population of 25 million.

Similar rallies are planned in cities around the globe ahead of a U.N. climate summit in New York..

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1:50 p.m.

Australia's acting prime minister has described ongoing climate rallies as "just a disruption" that should have been held on a weekend to avoid inconveniencing communities.

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack says students would learn more at school than at protests.

Thousands of protesters were gathering at more than 100 rallies across Australia on Friday calling for action to guard against climate change. Similar rallies were planned for around the world.

McCormack says his government was already taking action to cut Australia's emissions and boost renewable energy generation.

McCormack is filling in Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in the United States for a state dinner with President Donald Trump.

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12:05 p.m.

Thousands of protesters are gathering at rallies around Australia as a day of worldwide demonstrations begins ahead of a U.N. climate summit in New York.

Some of the first rallies in what is being billed as a "global climate strike" started Friday in Australia's largest city, Sydney, and the national capital, Canberra.

Australian demonstrators are calling for their nation, which is the world's largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Strike 4 Climate said protests will be staged in 110 towns and cities across Australia on Friday, with organizers demanding government and business commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Similar rallies are planned in cities around the globe.

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