Recently described as “the physicist behind net zero,” Myles Allen developed the methods used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001 to quantify the size of human influence on observed and projected changes in global temperature, for which in 2010 he was awarded the Appleton Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics.

In 2005, Allen first proposed the concept of a global carbon budget: the idea that peak warming is determined by the total amount of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere before emissions are reduced to net zero, not the amount we emit in any given year or the eventual long-term atmospheric concentration. He has been working on the implications for climate policy ever since, including for other greenhouse gases such as methane, most recently as coordinating lead author for the 2018 IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees.

He has long been a proponent of fossil fuel producers taking responsibility for cleaning up after the products they sell rather than placing the onus on relatively powerless consumers: