This letter also appears in our 13th annual Corporate Sustainability Report.
As we publish our 13th corporate sustainability report, Innovation, Sustainability and Leadership, I am filled with optimism for what lies ahead. We are witnessing the power and perseverance of the human spirit as recovery around the world progresses. People from all walks of life have come together to support one another as we collectively confronted the challenges of this past year.
2020 put into sharp focus the vital role of energy. Critical energy infrastructure has delivered the power needed for hospitals, medical research centers, and manufacturing plants to operate and has supported the millions of people who have worked, studied or cared for their families from home.
Committed to Doing the Right Thing
2020 also bore witness to the talent and dedication of Sempra Energy employees who have continued to safely deliver energy with purpose to more than 36 million consumers in North America, and many more around the world. They have displayed great leadership, resilience and an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing.
Delivering that energy safely and reliably every day is at our company’s core and guides how we serve our customers and communities regardless of the moment. Our operating companies found innovative solutions and new ways to continue to work safely this past year when the world around us required it the most.
The perseverance on display during 2020 inspires confidence that the world can come together with a collective determination to address another global challenge: achieving carbon neutrality globally by mid-century.
It will also require a dramatic change in our energy systems over the next 30 years. That change will include a universal focus on decarbonizing the industrial, transportation and power generation sectors. Energy grids will need to expand and zero-carbon electricity and increasingly green gases, such as hydrogen, will need to work in tandem. Over this same period, we will need to account for the global energy demand that is expected to increase exponentially as emerging economies develop and energy poverty is addressed.
I am confident that this can be done, and that the U.S. will lead by demonstrating a commitment to expanding electrification and renewable gases at home, while fostering innovation and supporting energy diversification, particularly in developing economies.
Investing in the Future
At Sempra Energy, we will continue to play a leading role by investing in the critical new infrastructure that is needed to create the net-zero energy systems of tomorrow. Our demonstrated leadership over the last two decades in decarbonizing energy together with our disciplined approach to innovation and operational excellence has allowed us to create a strong position in large North American markets and uniquely positions us to be a leader in this energy transition.
Through our infrastructure, we strive to create enduring, sustainable value for all our stakeholders as we chart our path to achieve our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 in both the energy we use in our operations and the energy being delivered to our customers.
Delivering long-term sustainable value extends beyond our position as a leader in the energy transition. This past year has demonstrated that we have the best workforce in the industry and that our high-performance culture continues to be our differentiator.
As part of Sempra Energy’s unwavering commitment to its values, we remain committed to an inclusive workplace, where we embrace diverse views, backgrounds, and experiences. We will continue to demonstrate that commitment through concrete actions to advance that culture and maintain a workplace where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic and best selves to work.
Guided by our values — do the right thing, champion people and shape the future — we can help solve some of our society’s greatest and most pressing challenges.
At Sempra Energy, this is our calling.
Ever forward together,
Jeffrey W. Martin
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
This article contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other factors.
In this article, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," "under construction," "in development," "target," "outlook," "maintain," "continue," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.
Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: California wildfires, including the risks that we may be found liable for damages regardless of fault and that we may not be able to recover costs from insurance, the wildfire fund established by California Assembly Bill 1054 or in rates from customers; decisions, investigations, regulations, issuances or revocations of permits and other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, Public Utility Commission of Texas, and other regulatory and governmental bodies and (ii) states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions in the U.S., Mexico and other countries in which we do business; the success of business development efforts, construction projects and major acquisitions and divestitures, including risks in (i) the ability to make a final investment decision, (ii) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (iii) the ability to realize anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iv) obtaining the consent of partners or other third parties; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation, regulatory inquiries, investigations and proceedings, and arbitrations, including, among others, those related to the natural gas leak at Southern California Gas Company's (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our capital projects, regulatory approval processes, supply chain, liquidity and execution of operations; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative outlook and our ability to borrow on favorable terms and meet our substantial debt service obligations; moves to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas and the impact of volatility of oil prices on our businesses and development projects; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, acts of terrorism, computer system outages and other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires and subject us to liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance (including costs in excess of applicable policy limits), may be disputed by insurers or may otherwise not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of electric power and natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities, and equipment failures; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses, and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; expropriation of assets, failure of foreign governments and state-owned entities to honor their contracts, and property disputes; the impact at San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) on competitive customer rates and reliability due to the growth in distributed and local power generation, including from departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation, and the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC's (Oncor) ability to eliminate or reduce its quarterly dividends due to regulatory and governance requirements and commitments, including by actions of Oncor's independent directors or a minority member director; volatility in foreign currency exchange and interest and inflation rates and commodity prices and our ability to effectively hedge these risks; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs and revisions to international trade agreements that may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on the company's website, www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.
Sempra North American Infrastructure, Sempra LNG, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, SDG&E or SoCalGas, and Sempra North American Infrastructure, Sempra LNG, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.