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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez claps back after article on her dress: 'Sequins are a great accessory to universal healthcare' Democrats working to ensure Trump's second term Ocasio-Cortez announces slate of all-female congressional endorsements 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 InsleeAndrew Yang ends presidential bid Bloomberg, Steyer focus on climate change in effort to stand out Our government and public institutions must protect us against the unvaccinated MORE, a 2020 Democratic White House hopeful, and backed by a group of activists.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.