The article presents the concept of ecological civilization and examines some of its aspects and its philosophical background. It points to the problem of understanding the concepts of culture and civilization, also in relation to the understanding of civilization as a further stage in the development of society. The ecological civilization should overcome the contemporary industrial civilization and its devastating effects on society and the environment. In examining the philosophical background of the concept, it focuses on Daoism and its relevance to contemporary, especially Chinese environmentalism. Finally, it deals with the differences between the Chinese and Western versions of the concept of ecological civilization, which identifies in a different understanding of the possibilities of ecological democracy and authoritarianism as tools for achieving an environmentally sustainable society.