This article attempts to disentangle the determinants of the adoption of renewable energy support policies in developing and emerging countries. By analyzing policies already implemented in industrialized countries, we focus on the diffusion but not the invention of climate-relevant policies. We look at four different types of policies (renewable energy targets, feed-in tariffs, other financial incentives and framework policies) and consider both domestic factors and international diffusion mechanisms utilizing a discrete-time events history model with a logit link on a self-compiled dataset of grid-based electricity policy adoption in 112 developing and emerging countries from 1998 to 2009. In general, we find stronger support for the domestic determinants of policy adoption, but also substantial influence of international factors. Countries with a larger population and more wealth have a higher probability of adopting renewable energy policies. Only in some specific cases do natural endowments for producing renewable energy encourage governments to adopt policies, and hydro power resources even correlate negatively with the adoption of targets. Among the international determinants, emulation from colonial peers and membership within the EU seem to facilitate policy adoption. International climate finance is less relevant, as the Global Environmental Facility and the Clean Development Mechanism may only increase the adoption of frameworks and targets, but they have no influence on tariffs and incentives.