The Copenhagen and Paris Agreements, in which developed countries committed to mobilise USD 100 billion a year by 2020, indicate that climate finance will continue to grow. Even though economic development is not the aim of climate finance, climate-related disbursements will generate an economic impact on recipient countries’ economies. This impact will also reach other countries (including climate finance donors) through induced international trade. In this paper, we apply a structural decomposition analysis to study why the economic impact of climate finance varies between countries. We focus on specific climate actions and quantify the contribution of four drivers: value-added intensity, domestic multiplier, foreign multiplier and trade structure. The paper helps identifying the factors with the greatest potential to enhance the economic gains of climate finance in each country. This information can be useful for policy-makers trying to design national strategies that exploit the synergies between climate action and economic development.