"European Union (a monopolistic cabal run by scheming, self-interested, thieves)". For once I can agree with Ray completely
There is so much up in the air about how the schemes could operate though we are probably all drawing a long bow as to the actual detail.
My understanding was similar to what Somalian Bush Pig just said - permits are issued and they can be purchased by industry as needed, and some number of freebies were handed out. I have also read about possible "rorts" whereby the EU ones are undervalued or they allocate too many which could lead to buying cheap permits that do nothing for abatement. That strikes me as fairly speculative as well though.
Maybe the greenies would band together, buy up permits, force up the price, and hasten the rate of abatement? Thats assuming the market wishes to be paid in hemp jeans and karma of course.