Successful nonstate climate actions can scale up their efforts and/or have their approaches replicated by others. To strengthen these “catalytic impacts” and their contribution to global mitigation and adaptation efforts, multiple international awarding mechanisms have been established, including Momentum for Change, launched by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To assess the actual value of awarding mechanisms for fostering catalytic impacts among nonstate climate actions, this article identifies drivers and barriers for catalytic impacts and the extent to which Momentum for Change addresses them, using the concept of enabling power. Research results indicate that only a selective range of drivers and barriers for catalytic impact is actually addressed through Momentum for Change, which mainly strengthens reputation as a driver. Overall, the study demonstrates that the enabling power of Momentum for Change relies on the legitimacy of the UNFCCC in climate governance. However, the extent to which awarding mechanisms help foster catalytic impact is also dependent on an initiative’s individual context, which may affect its ability to capitalize on reputational benefits.

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