Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) has emerged as a promising climate change mitigation mechanism in tropical forest countries. This paper examines the national political context in 13 REDD+ countries in order to identify the enabling conditions for achieving progress in the implementation of countries' REDD+ policies and measures. The analysis builds on a previous qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) of various countries' progress with REDD+, conducted in 12 REDD+ countries in 2012. A follow-up survey in 2014 was considered timely because the REDD+ policy arena, at international and country levels, is highly dynamic and undergoes constant evolution, which affects progress with REDD+ policy making and implementation. In this paper, we examine whether the ‘promise' of performance-based funds has played a role in enabling the establishment of REDD+. The results show a set of enabling conditions and characteristics of the policy process under which REDD+ policies can be established. Two key findings of our analysis, the importance of already initiated policy change and the relevance of available performance-based funding in combination with strong national ownership of the REDD+ process, may help guide other countries seeking to formulate REDD+ policies that are likely to deliver efficient, effective and equitable outcomes.