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Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy

Dedicated to assessing the social, legal, ethical, and political implications of carbon removal technologies and practices.

The Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy is a research center in the School of International Service at American University, Washington DC. We are dedicated to the assessment and promotion of sustainable carbon removal.

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Why does carbon removal matter?

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is now an essential component of humanity’s response to climate change. Carbon removal is not, though, a single-shot solution. Emissions abatement -- keeping greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere -- must come first. In addition, not all forms of carbon removal are created equal. The Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy works to find carbon removal’s appropriate forms, scales, and applications. 

To learn more about the basics of carbon removal, see our Fact Sheets, Introductory Explainer, Glossary of Key Terms, and “Why Talk About Carbon Removal?” report.

Other resources include our blogour accessible abstracts series summarizing important new academic papers, and archives recordings from our webinar series.


Publication & Project News

Carbon Removal Action Tracker

ICRLP has created an Action Tracker outlining some interesting moves regarding climate action in aviation, energy, heavy industry, and other harder-to-abate sector, as well as large financial actors and retail companies. It includes companies that have made climate pledges that entail some use of large scale carbon removal.

Visit the Tracker

The Carbon Removal Debate

Matthew Nisbet looks at how carbon removal has suddenly appeared on the climate policy agenda, why the entire field needs additional scrutiny, and how to build a better CDR conversation.

Read the Report

Carbon Removal Explainer

Our resource, Explainer: Carbon Removal, details what carbon removal is, why it is important, and the role carbon removal has to play in climate policy. It aims to cover the most important aspects of carbon dioxide removal, define various technical approaches, and serves as a backgrounder and resource. 

Learn more!


ICRLP Director of Research David Morrow and Co-Director Wil Burns both have exciting Recent Pubication in One Earth.

"Principles for Thinking about Carbon Dioxide Removal in Just Climate Policy"

"Antacids for the Sea? Artificial Ocean Alkalinization and Climate Change"

Glossary of Key Terms

The Carbon Removal Glossary defines key terminology and acronyms related to carbon removal and explains some of the relationships between the terms.

CDR Terms

Nature in Nationally Determined Contributions

ICRLP Faculty Fellow Jason Funk co-authored a report on integrating nature into Nationally Determined Contributions.

Read the Report