The rapid increase of the CO 2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere has resulted in numerous environmental issues, such as global warming, ocean acidification, melting of the polar ice, rising sea level, and extinction of species. To search for suitable and capable catalytic systems for CO 2 conversion, electrochemical reduction of CO 2 (CO 2 RR) holds great promise. Emerging heterogeneous carbon materials have been considered as promising metal-free electrocatalysts for the CO 2 RR, owing to their abundant natural resources, tailorable porous structures, resistance to acids and bases, high-temperature stability, and environmental friendliness. They exhibit remarkable CO 2 RR properties, including catalytic activity, long durability, and high selectivity. Here, various carbon materials (e.g., carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes, graphene, diamond, nanoporous carbon, and graphene dots) with heteroatom doping (e.g., N, S, and B) that can be used as metal-free catalysts for the CO 2 RR are highlighted. Recent advances regarding the identification of active sites for the CO 2 RR and the pathway of reduction of CO 2 to the final product are comprehensively reviewed. Additionally, the emerging challenges and some perspectives on the development of heteroatom-doped carbon materials as metal-free electrocatalysts for the CO 2 RR are included.