Climate strikes fill Australia's streets

If Australia's politicians think they've heard the last of students who are calling for more action on climate change, they've got another thing coming.

"We're not going to just go away," 15-year-old Olivia Boddington told AAP at a climate strike in Canberra on Friday.

The Year 11 student was one of tens of thousands of Australian students, parents and activists who took part in nationwide protests over inaction on climate change.

The students have three demands: stop the Adani coal mine in central Queensland, no new coal or gas, and 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

"If the politicians are just going to throw our futures away there's nothing we can do but be out here and say: we're not going to let you do that," Olivia said.

"I want to see them acknowledge us and understand that we're not going to give up until they do something."

Friday's protest comes months after students first skipped school over climate action, a move condemned by the prime minister.

This time students are taking part in a day of global action with more than 90 countries participating.

Students were also this time supported by wider cohorts of the community, with unions, academics, universities and several politicians joining in solidarity.

Crowds gathered across the country at 60 locations, including Sydney's Town Hall Square, outside Melbourne's Old Treasury Building and in Brisbane's CBD.

School students held signs with slogans such as "The climate is changing, why aren't we?" and "Make earth cool again".

The movement was inspired by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who has been striking for climate action since last August.

The 16-year-old's activism has earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

Senior cabinet minister Christopher Pyne has criticised the students for striking, saying the move will damage their education.

"Usually strikes are when employees withdraw their labour from an employee so I'm not sure why the students are withdrawing themselves from school. It only damages their education," Mr Pyne told Nine's Today.

He said the students should be in school, and if they wanted to engage in political activism it should be on their own time.

Labor national president Wayne Swan defended student activism.

"Great to see young Australians demonstrating their support for a sustainable future and repudiating the climate change denialism of so many conservatives in our community," he tweeted.

© AAP 2019