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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Progressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan 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 Inslee2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Yang floats nominating Inslee as 'climate czar' MORE, a 2020 Democratic White House hopeful, and backed by a group of activists.


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.