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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.

1st Annual Conference on Carbon Removal Law and Policy: Exploring Ocean Based CDR Approaches

The Institute will be holding our 1st Annual Conference to be conducted virtually September 21, 2021. This year's theme will be "Exploring Ocean-based CDR Approaches." Please visit our conference website here to learn more.

What's New

Project Vesta has engaged the Institute to establish an independent review board to provide assessment and oversight of a proposed field experiment in the Dominican Republic to test an atmospheric carbon dioxide removal approach called “Coastal Enhanced Weathering.”

Learn More

Publication & Project News

Carbon Removal Action Tracker

This tool developed by ICRLP outlines 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 entailing some use of large scale CDR.

 

 

Visit the Tracker

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!

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

Recent Publication

Director of Research David Morrow & Co-Director Simon Nicholson co-authored this recent article with Dr. Sikina Jinnah of UC Santa Cruz, "Splitting Climate Engineering Governance: How Problem Structure Shapes Institutional Design." 

Read the Article

2020 Year-End Report

Read our End of Year Report that details recent research publications, educational resources, projects and collaborations of 2020.

Read the Report

Carbon Dioxide Removal Law

ICRLP Co-Director Wil Burns has worked in conjunction with Columbia Law School Sabin School for Climate Change Law and Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy to develop this annotated bibliography of legal materials related to CDR, carbon sequestration & use.

 

Visit the Bibliography