Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said climate change is a "generational" issue for younger Americans and referred to it as "our World War II" during an event commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr on Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez also claimed the world will end in 12 years, Fox News reports.
"Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'" Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez also criticized politicians and Trump administration officials for not addressing the issue.
"Right now, with the current administration, with the current circumstances, with the abdication of responsibility that we've seen from so many powerful people, even people who abdicate that responsibility by calling themselves liberal or a Democrat, or whatever it is, I feel a need for all of us to breathe fire," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"Millennials, and Gen z, and all these folks that come after us, are looking up and we're like 'the world will end in 12 years if we don't address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'" @AOC #MLKNow #MLK2019 pic.twitter.com/fbUxr2C0tJ
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) January 21, 2019
In October, Ocasio-Cortez said defeating global warming required using the blueprint used to defeat the Nazis.
"When we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat in this country was around World War II, so we've been here before, and we have a blueprint of doing this before. None of these things are new ideas, but we have is an existential threat in the context of war," Ocasio-Cortez said at a climate change town hall.
The New York Democrat has pushed for a "Green New Deal," arguing that "Americans are dying because of a government too coward to save the planet." The initiative calls for the United States to transition from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy within 10 years.
She has also urged elected officials to reject money from fossil fuel corporations.