Straight talk from the Georgia Straight: the greater Vancouver regional government has admitted that there’s no way it can meet the Kyoto protocol’s goal of reducing climate warming emissions to 6 percent below 1990’s level by 2012.

In fact, it will probably take all the political will the region can muster to cap emissions at 10 percent above 1990’s levels by the time the Kyoto deadline rolls around.

This is no knock on Vancouver per se, since I’m sure that it’s no farther from Kyoto’s goals than other parts of North America. And a 10 percent increase still means a per capita decline in carbon emissions: the population of Vancouver has grown by nearly 35 percent since 1990. Measured per capita, Vancouver’s climate emissions must be moving in the right direction.

Obviously, though, per capita measures don’t mean much to the climate—climate change is driven by total emissions, not emissions per person. And the fact that even Vancouver—a regional leader in curtailing sprawl and creating walkable places where residents don’t have to drive much—is so far from meeting Kyoto’s relatively modest climate goals is a reminder of just how much more work there is to do to make a meaningful dent in the problem.