You are here: American University School of International Service Centers Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy

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.

To stay up to date on Institute news, webinars, and events join our mailing list! 

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.


The Institute maintains a working document currently containing 9012 citations pertaining to Carbon Dioxide Removal. See a sample of this document here, or contact us at to request access to the entire document.

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

ICRLP in the Media

Co-Director Wil Burns recently authored an Op-Ed published in the Indy Star: "A trillion trees to fight climate change sounds nice. Here's what it misses." which takes a critical look at this newly introduced bill.

Read the Op-Ed

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 carbon dioxide removal and carbon sequestration and use.


Visit the Bibliography