Climate change is one of the priority issues on the current sustainability agenda and a malign type of problem (Gupta, 2010) with various conflicting interests that requires a collaborative solution. Public-private partnerships are a specific form of transformative governance as they provide linkages to more benign issues and therefore increase the problem solving capacity of the overall governance system. Three modalities of public-private partnerships are identified in this paper: instrumental, institutional and regime, characterized by specific inputs to climate governance and hence requiring different approaches to measuring their effectiveness. For instance, climate partnerships perceived from the instrumental perspective are frequently evaluated in terms of fulfilling the target or functions, while studies of the institutional modality of partnerships rely on assessment criteria derived from organizational science, which are mainly concerned with organisational capacities and operational accountability. Finally, studies on the overall climate regime (as a form of meta- partnership) are often linked to questions of legitimacy and accountability. The paper analyses different approaches to measuring effectiveness of climate partnerships and proposes an assessment framework addressing variations of climate partnerships contributions within identified modalities. The proposed framework is based on three effectiveness standards, which allow assessing each modality of partnerships from various analytical perspectives established in conjunction with the type of partnership contribution, i.e. goal attainment, accountability, legitimacy. The study also provides comparison across the modalities in an attempt to understand competitive advantages of each modality and provide insights on which climate partnership modality delivers more tangible results for tackling climate change issues.