For the first time in its 176-year history, The Economist’s weekly edition focuses entirely on climate change.
The red-and-blue stripes on the magazine's cover are a data visualization of the world’s average temperature every year from 1850 to 2018, compared with the average from 1971 to 2000. Blue years are cooler; red ones are warmer.
The cover looks like a gradient from blue to red as it nears present day.
The issue's cover story explains how the world got to this point, as well as the dangers and challenges of the current levels of carbon dioxide.
“Climate change is sometimes portrayed as something capitalism cannot deal with — or worse, does not want to deal with. That is not our view,” stated Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist.
She added: “Our reporting clearly shows the scale and scope of the problem; we accept that it cannot be solved simply. But we think free markets, smart regulation and liberal values are the key to an effective response.”
Articles in the issue range from an analysis of America’s Green New Deal to how Britain advanced offshore wind energy.
The Economist Films and Radio teams produced video and audio on climate topics covered in the September 21 issue.
The Economist Group is also running marketing and commercial activities around the topic, coinciding with Climate Week in New York and the United Nations Climate Action Summit and General Assembly.
In exchange for plastic trash, New Yorkers will get a free coffee in an edible cup, from a pop-up cart made of repurposed plastic bottle cap art.
The Economist is also participating in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lion’s Share event, which asks advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal-welfare projects.
For U.K. subscribers, The Economist is ditching plastic wrap for a 100% home compostable starch-based Bio-Plast film for its magazines.
The publisher is also offering to plant a tree in The Economist Forest for every new subscription. Over 150,000 trees have been planted the magazine.
“We are pleased to support the editorial positions of the newspaper by ensuring our commercial activities align with the newspaper,” stated Mark Cripps, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer at The Economist.
The Economist also announced its second Climate Risk Summit will take place in London on July 1, 2020.Last week,Time debuted its own special issue dedicated to climate change.