“I speak to you not as an elected official or a public figure, but I speak to you as a human being," the freshman congresswoman told a climate summit in Copenhagen. "A woman whose dreams of motherhood now taste bittersweet, because of what I know about our children's future," she added, apparently choking back tears.
She was giving her keynote address at the C40 World Mayors Summit which recently approved a global version of her "Green New Deal."
Ocasio-Cortez went on to decry the impacts of climate change and indicating that Puerto Ricans died because they lived "under colonial rule."
"I speak to you as daughter and descendant of colonized peoples who have already begun to suffer. Just two years ago one of the deadliest disasters in the United States struck in the form of Hurricane Maria," she said.
"The climate change-powered storm killed over 3,000 Puerto Ricans, American citizens -- my own grandfather died in the aftermath -- all because they were living under colonial rule, which contributed to the dire conditions and lack of recovery.”
She added that it wasn't a "coincidence" that Hurricane Dorian had similar impacts on the Bahamas. "As many have noticed in an — noted in an awful turn the climate crisis has passed is first impacting those who have not only contributed to our emissions the least but have already suffered greatly in the global history of inequality, colonization, and imperialism stacking one injustice upon another," she said.
The New York congresswoman traveled to Copenhagen for a meeting with the C40, a group of 94 mayors led by Los Angeles' Mayor Eric Garcetti -- who was just announced as the group's new chair. There, several U.S. mayors supported the "Global Green New Deal."
The plan aims to halve carbon emissions by 2030 through cleaner alternatives and the "strictest possible building codes." It also seeks to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement's goal of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.