In this analysis, I examine the effect of social-structural factors associated with the passage of time on carbon dioxide per capita, while also accounting for global power relations. I use World Development Indicator data on 91 nations over a 60-year period. I control for global power relations using Clark and Beckfield’s (2009) trichotomous world-system categories to assign each country to a world-system stratum. I then use a hierarchical linear growth curve model to highlight the extent to which countries belonging to core, semi-periphery, and periphery categories are able to rely upon changes captured by the passage of time, such as improvements in technology, to reduce CO2 emissions per capita. Key findings indicate that, in nations belonging to the core and semi-periphery, such factors are associated with increases in CO2 emissions per capita, rather than the decreases that might be expected.