Ocasio-Cortez criticizes climate change questions in Democratic debate
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire Ocasio-Cortez: 'Won't you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway' House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) said the first night of the Democratic presidential debates was not sufficiently focused on climate change. 

“I don’t think that we are discussing climate change the way we need to be discussing climate change,” the first-year lawmaker said on "The Late Show with Steven Colbert" after the Wednesday night debate. “It is such a huge broad systemic issue and you can’t just say, 'Is Miami gonna exist in 50 years?' We need to say what are you going to do about this.” 

Ocasio-Cortez said she supports the idea of a debate centered on climate change, which has been proposed by Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeFight against flavored e-cigarettes goes local Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates Bullock drops White House bid, won't run for Senate MORE, a 2020 Democratic White House hopeful, and backed by a group of activists.

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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) said it would not focus on the issue during a debate, and a group of young activists with the Sunrise Movement held a protest demanding one outside the DNC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters Tuesday. 

“I know there’s a lot of folks, a lot of young people that have been mobilizing for an entire climate debate in the Democratic caucus and I think it’s a good idea,” Ocasio-Cortez told Colbert. 

The democratic socialist added that climate change is a far-reaching problem. 

“Climate change is an infrastructure issue, it’s a job issue, it’s an energy issue, it’s a foreign policy issue, and we can't just talk about the Copacabana,” she added. 

Ocasio-Cortez has pushed for the Green New Deal, a progressive proposal that aims to tackle climate change and economic inequality, since her 2018 election.