The October European Council set out a package of targets for Europe’s climate emissions and its energy system up to 2030. The headline goal of “at least” a 40% reduction in domestic emissions has been widely welcomed. The energy targets – in particular, the commitments to achieve a 27% share for renewable energy, and to deliver a 27% improvement in energy efficiency – were more loosely formulated. IEEP will be taking an active interest in policy development on how the climate and energy targets are delivered. In this discussion paper Martin Nesbit, the head of the Climate and Governance programme, points to a number of areas where the European Council’s suggested approach risks falling short, and offers some ideas on the principles that should guide Commission proposals on implementation.