That climate change will increase the incidence of violent conflict is a common claim made by both policymakers and climate change activists. I aim to question and critique the simplistic assertion that climate change will cause increased violent conflict, showing how the relationship between climate change, scarcity, and violent conflict is neither straightforward nor unidirectional. Moreover, as the evidence to support the ‘scarcity–conflict’ thesis is disputed and contested, the multidimensional relationships between conflict and scarcity are overlooked. I argue that it is imperative to explore the inverse relationship: how conflict influences scarcity in an environment of climate change, with a focus on vulnerability.