The Latest: Australia leader calls protests a 'disruption'

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

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.

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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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