The Latest: Danish PM: Climate protesters are 'right'

Youngsters stand on the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace as they take part in a student climate protest in London, Friday, March 15, 2019. Students in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide plan to skip class Friday in protest over their governments’ failure to act against global warming. The coordinated ‘school strike’ was inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Latest on global climate protests by students (all times local):

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2:35 p.m.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has praised those who showed up at the climate change demonstration in Copenhagen, where thousands of students demanded more government action to fight global warming.

Loekke Rasmussen, who joined the protest, tweeted Friday "we must listen to the youth. Especially when they're right: the climate must be one of our top priorities."

"Hope all these bright young people will be back in school on Monday — we'll need great scientists to help solve the climate issues in the future #fridaysforfuture," he wrote in English.

The protests around the world Friday were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside Sweden's parliament last year.

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Elsewhere, some 30,000 demonstrators gathered in Brussels and thousands more braved wind and rain in cities across Belgium to demand more action against global warming. Some grandparents joined the protesters, who carried huge banners with messages like "Running out of slogans … Do something."

12 p.m.

About 50 students have protested in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, chanting "There's No Planet B." One protester held a sign reading "You'll Miss The Rains Down in Africa."

Experts say Africa, with its population of more than 1 billion people, is expected to be hardest hit by global warming even though it contributes least to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it.

The rally was part of protests by students demanding more action against climate change in over 100 countries.

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11 a.m.

In Berlin, police said as many as 20,000 climate change protesters, most of them students, gathered in a downtown square, waving signs reading "March now or swim later" and "Climate Protection Report Card: F."

They marched Friday through the German capital's government quarter, stopping in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel's office. The rally was part of protests by students demanding more action against climate change in over 100 countries.

Environmental groups and experts have criticized German government plans to continue using coal and natural gas for decades to come.

Vokler Quaschning, one of more than 23,000 German-speaking scientists to sign a letter of support this week for the students, said Germany should stop using all fossil fuels by 2040. This would give less-advanced nations a bit more time to wean themselves off coal, gas and oil while still meeting the Paris goal globally.

He says "this is going to require radical measures and there isn't the slightest sign of that happening yet."

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10 a.m.

Thousands of students are marching in rainy Warsaw and other Polish cities to demand a ban on burning coal, a major source of carbon dioxide.

The march Friday was part of protests by students around the world demanding more action against climate change in over 100 countries.

Some in Warsaw wore face masks as they carried banners that read "Today's Air Smells Like the Planet's Last Days" and "Make Love, Not CO2."

Elsewhere in Europe, police in Vienna said about 10,000 students demonstrated in the Austrian capital, while in Switzerland a similar number protested in the western city of Lausanne. In Helsinki, 3,000 students rallied in front of Finland's Parliament sporting signs such as: "Dinosaurs thought they had time too!"

Thousands of students also marched through Madrid and more than 50 other Spanish cities, for Spain is vulnerable to rising sea levels and rapid desertification.

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9 a.m.

"Now or Never" read the signs brandished by enthusiastic teenagers thronging cobblestoned streets around the domed Pantheon building, which rises above the Left Bank in Paris. Several thousand students gathered peacefully around the landmark.

Some of the students criticized President Emmanuel Macron, who sees himself as the guarantor of the Paris climate accord but is criticized by activists for being too business-friendly and not ambitious enough in efforts to reduce French greenhouse gas emissions.

Friday's rallies by students around the world were one of the biggest international actions yet to demand more government action to fight climate change. Protests were underway or planned in more than 100 countries.

The coordinated 'school strikes,' were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year.

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8 a.m.

In India's capital of New Delhi, schoolchildren are protesting inaction on climate change and rising air pollution levels that often far exceed World Health Organization limits.

Friday's rallies by students around the world were one of the biggest international actions yet to demand more government action to fight climate change. Protests were underway or planned in cities in more than 100 countries, including in cities as diverse as Hong Kong, Paris, Warsaw, Wellington, New Zealand and Oulu, Finland.

The coordinated 'school strikes,' were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year.

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5 a.m.

From the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students mobilized by word of mouth and social media are skipping class to protest what they believe are their governments' failure to take tough action against global warming.

The coordinated 'school strikes,' were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year.

Since then, the weekly protests have snowballed from a handful of cities to hundreds, fueled by dramatic headlines about the impact of climate change during the students' lifetime.

Friday's rallies were one of the biggest international actions yet. Protests were underway or planned in cities in more than 100 countries, including Hong Kong; New Delhi; Wellington, New Zealand; and Oulu, Finland.

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For more stories by The Associated Press on climate change, go to https://apnews.com/Climate

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