Policy monitoring is often seen as a crucial ingredient of policy evaluation, but theoretically informed empirical analyses of real-world policy monitoring practices are still rare. This paper addresses this gap by focusing on climate policy monitoring in the European Union, which has a relatively stringent system of greenhouse gas monitoring but a much less demanding approach to monitoring policies. It explores how institutional settings, policy implementation, and the quality of information may impact the practices and politics of policy monitoring. Drawing on quantitative regression models and qualitative interviews, it demonstrates that policy monitoring has evolved over time and is itself subject to implementation pressures, but also exhibits learning effects that improve its quality. In further developing both everyday policy monitoring practices and academic understanding of them, there is a need to pay attention to their design—specifically, the impact of any overarching rules, the institutional support for implementation, and the criteria governing the quality of the information they deliver. In short, policy monitoring should be treated as a governance activity in its own right, raising many different design challenges.