This article presents a model of development, civil war and climate change. There are multiple interactions. Economic growth reduces the probability of civil war and the vulnerability to climate change. Climate change increases the probability of civil war. The impacts of climate change, civil war and civil war in the neighbouring countries reduce economic growth. The model has two potential poverty traps - one is climate-change-induced and one is civil-war-induced - and the two poverty traps may reinforce one another. The model is calibrated to sub-Saharan Africa and a double Monte Carlo analysis is conducted in order to account for both parameter uncertainty and stochasticity. Although the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) is used as the baseline, thus assuming rapid economic growth in Africa and convergence of African living standards to the rest of the world, the impacts of civil war and climate change (ignored in SRES) are sufficiently strong to keep a number of countries in Africa in deep poverty with a high probability. © The Author(s) 2012.