The win-win scenario is vastly increased investment into nuclear electric generation. Nuclear is already the safest form of baseline power generation, and is 100% carbon free. Next-gen technologies offer the possibility of less than 5 per KWH electricity, and no possibility of meltdowns. The world needs plentiful, non-stop power going forward. The ONLY carbon-free way of achieving that is nuclear power, and this can be done with no sacrifice, and no penalty to the poor via increased energy prices.
You could be right. My preferred option would be to let the markets pick the winners and losers. The key is to apply a revenue neutral carbon tax that ensures that any fees collected are spent in reducing income tax and sales tax. That way we are taxing behaviours that we want to discourage, and lowering taxes on things we ought to be encouraging.
The problem is that such a scheme is still regressive, at least here in the US. The poor pay no income tax, and there is usually no sales tax on food and other necessities. A carbon tax would raise the cost of energy, and if applied to gasoline and diesel, would increase the cost of goods pretty much across the board. Also, plenty of poor people would be hurt by higher gasoline prices.
If there were fewer artificial barriers to nuclear (including somehow educating the public regarding the actual instead of perceived risks) it would quickly become one of the least expensive options - cheaper than coal or gas.
One of the more practical approaches to next-gen, molten salt nuclear is being developed at ThorCon.