The article gives an analysis of the possibilities and limits of the concept of ecological modernization. The concept was used already in the early 1980s to describe the common field of ecology and economy. The focus was on technological progress reducing the environmental impact of production and consumption. Hajer and other authors had a broader definition of the concept. But it could make sense to differentiate technical / non-technical solutions (the latter being less compatible with the economic system). The limits to eco-modernization strategies and the need for “structural” solutions could possibly better be demonstrated by the earlier concept. A policy for ecological modernization may be defined as the sum of government actions aimed to stimulate environmental innovations and their diffusion. Higher eco- efficiency - instead of end-of-pipe measures - is its main objective. But innovation is a highly difficult task, especially for governments. No simple “instrumentalistic” solution is available. Therefore, a more complex policy pattern will be necessary. A more global policy approach would be the stimulation of “green” lead markets. As a rule a complex interplay between political and technical innovation and diffusion can be observed.