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

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Why does carbon removal matter?

Together with traditional mitigation actions, including cutting greenhouse gas emissions, carbon removal may help the world avoid dangerous climate change impacts. There will be good and bad ways to develop and use particular carbon removal options. We know that carbon removal cannot act as a panacea or “solve” climate change. This emerging field is fraught with uncertainties, both in terms of the potential risks associated with large-scale deployment of many of these approaches as well as the ultimate potential of carbon removal. None of these technologies are yet proven to work at scale, and each raises a set of environmental and social benefits and risks that are still poorly understood. The Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy is dedicated to developing a comprehensive set of tools to assess these technologies and practices, individually and as a suite, at local, national, and global levels.

Educational Resources 

The Institute has created a comprehensive set of digestible educational tools to help actors gain the information needed to critically engage in discussions of carbon removal.

  • Carbon Removal Explainer: The Explainer 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. 
  • Fact Sheets: The Institute has continued to develop and publish two-page fact sheets on different carbon removal technologies. Each provides an overview of the technology, its capacity for development, and its ethical and governance considerations. 
  • Carbon Removal Glossary: defines key terminology and acronyms related to carbon removal and explains some of the relationships between the terms.
  • Accessible Abstracts: In an effort to make the latest literature on carbon removal accessible to diverse audiences, the plain English abstract project explains recent academic publications on carbon removal in ways that are easier to understand by non-specialists. 
  • Webinar Series: ICRLP’s webinar series is dedicated keeping those on the forefront of the carbon removal conversation in communication with those seeking to actively influence carbon removal’s development.
  • Carbon Removal Blog: Launched in Fall 2019, the Institute’s blog hosts short, timely posts on all aspects of carbon removal by experts in the community.

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!

2019 End of Year Report

Read our End of Year Report that details recent research publications, educational resources, and collaborative events of 2019. Importantly, it also notes our plans for the year ahead.

Learn about 2019

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