The Sahel is often recognised as a hotspot of violent conflicts, typically between farmers and pastoralists or between the state and armed groups. More recently, jihadist violence has reinforced this image in particular because oof attacks by groups associated with ISIL and Al Qaeda in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia. What is behind these conflicts? Most empirical research points to political and historical factors as the root cause. However as climate change becomes a leading global political issue, an emerging and increasingly powerful policy narrative presents global warming as a major driver. But how valid is this argument?