The Commissioners want a binding target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels.
Renewables will need to provide 27% of EU energy by 2030, but while the target will be binding at EU level there will be no mandatory targets for member states.
The policy proposals are subject to review by heads of government.
Green groups have said the new targets lack ambition and the 40% emissions cut is "dangerously low".
This wide ranging White Paper will have a significant impact on the way Europe generates its power from 2020 onwards.
The Commission wants to give clarity to investors in renewable energy while at the same time maintaining their leadership role in global climate negotiations.
A critical part of that is the headline figure on emissions cuts. The target that was set for 2020 was 20% but the EU as a group had almost reached the goal by 2012.
Some countries including the UK urged the Commission to propose a bigger target of 50% by 2030, others held out for 35%.
Climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that, given the economic climate, the 40% target was a significant advance.
"A 40% emissions reduction is the most cost-effective target for the EU and it takes account of our global responsibility," she said.
"If all other regions were equally ambitious about tackling climate change, the world would be in significantly better shape."
Officials emphasised that the 40% target would have to be achieved "through domestic measures alone", meaning that member states couldn't offset their reductions by paying for carbon cutting in other countries.