Please join the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, December 6, from 7:00PM – 8:00PM EST, for the virtual launch of the Council’s new report, “The impact of merging climate and trade policy on global demand for nuclear energy.

As countries around the world embrace an increasingly ambitious climate agenda, the importance of trade policy tools that prevent leakage to economies whose climate regulations are less stringent is becoming evident. Mechanisms that charge a fee at the border for more emissions-intensive imports from other countries and thus increase their price in the domestic market have gained traction. These tools, if used by the G7, would likely have enough heft to set a de facto international price on carbon. Trade policy informed by the climate agenda would increase the attractiveness of low-carbon technologies, like nuclear energy, in countries looking to maintain their export competitiveness in a carbon-constrained market.

This presents an opportunity for G7 countries to drive investment into nuclear technologies in developing, export-oriented countries as they look for ways to maintain market share. Such policy would also incentivize developed countries that are planning to shut down nuclear reactors to consider the detrimental impact of replacing the ensuing generation shortfall with unabated fossil fuels, and it would push policymakers to assess the risks of new nuclear demand to proliferation standards, particularly if China and Russia continue to build the vast majority of new international nuclear projects.

Please register below to join this event on Zoom. If you have any questions, please reach out to Ameya Hadap (

A conversation with

Michael Mehling
Deputy Director, Center for Energy and Environment Policy Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Matt Porterfield
Vice President, Policy and Research
Climate Leadership Council

Sarah Stewart
Executive Director
Silverado Policy Accelerator

Aaron Weston
Leader, Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation Strategies
Idaho National Laboratory

Moderated by

George David Banks
Nonresident Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council Global Energy Center

Issue Brief

Sep 15, 2022

The impact of merging climate and trade policy on global demand for nuclear energy

By George David Banks

Trade tools that increase the price of carbon-intensive imports will likely lead to greater global interest in low-carbon technologies, including nuclear energy. This presents opportunities for investment in nuclear energy in developing, export-oriented countries along with potential risks for developed countries closing down nuclear generation and the international nonproliferation regime.

Nuclear Energy

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