UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


The Dynamics of Hope and Panic: lessons from the IPCC special report on 1.5°C

01 May 2019, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm

Melting Ice

Event Information

Open to







Room G01
Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
United Kingdom

This talk will use the science and policy conclusions of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C to talk about how scientists interact with an ambitious (and heterogeneous) policy agenda. Professor Allen will focus in particular on the very problematic framing of “climate emergency”, in particular the idea that “the IPCC says we have only 12 (or 11) years left…” Such artificial deadlines, together with the broader rhetoric of “planetary boundaries”, are both misleading and ultimately counterproductive. A much more effective approach might be to focus on climate justice, and its implications for mitigation responsibilities.

The lecture will be followed by a networking reception.


Myles Allen is Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Climate Pollutants; Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Net Zero Carbon Investment Initiative, Oxford Martin TNC Climate Partnership and Oxford Geoengineering Programme; Lead Researcher on the Oxford Martin Programme on the Post-Carbon Transition; Professor of Geosystem Science in the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and Head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University's Department of Physics. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts. Myles was a Coordinating Lead Author on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5 degrees, having previously served on the IPCC’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Assessments, including the Synthesis Report Core Writing Team in 2014. He proposed the use of Probabilistic Event Attribution to quantify the contribution of human and other external influences on climate to specific individual weather events and leads the https://www.climateprediction.net/ project, using distributed computing to run the world’s largest ensemble climate modelling experiments.


Image credit

Sergey Kuznetsov, Unsplash