Three environmental groups including Greenpeace filed a complaint against Chevron with US regulators on Tuesday targeting what they said are misleading green policy claims.

"The complaint claims that Chevron is consistently misrepresenting its image to appear climate-friendly and racial justice-oriented while its business operations overwhelmingly rely on climate-polluting fossil fuels, which disproportionately harm communities of color," the groups said.

The action is the first to use the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) "Green Guides" as a basis for complaint against "greenwashing" by a fossil fuel company that they say is "misleading consumers on the climate and environmental impact of its operations."

Greenpeace, Global Witness and Earthworks called for "the removal of these misleading marketing claims, the dissemination of corrective statements, and the assessment of appropriate relief according to the law."

A complaint filed against US oil producer Chevron is the first to use the FTC's guidelines against misleading consumers also known as 'greenwashing' A complaint filed against US oil producer Chevron is the first to use the FTC's guidelines against misleading consumers also known as 'greenwashing' Photo: GETTY / JUSTIN SULLIVAN

The complaint says Chevron, which the groups say is the most polluting company in the world, spends less than 0.2 percent of capital expenditures on renewable energy while claiming to produce "ever-cleaner" energy, and misrepresents the benefits of biomethane, among other charges.

The FTC's Green Guides set principles for environmental marketing claims to avoid deceiving consumers.

Chevron dismissed the allegations as "frivolous."

"We engage in honest conversations about the energy transition. We believe the future of energy is lower carbon and are working to help the world achieve that goal," the company said in a statement.

The oil giant said it is investing more than $3 billion through 2028 to advance energy transition, and supports "well-designed carbon pricing policies."