More than 40 countries have committed to shift away from coal, in pledges made at the COP26 climate summit.
Major coal-using countries including Poland, Vietnam and Chile are among those to make the commitment.
But some of the world's biggest coal-dependent countries, including China and the US, did not sign up.
In a separate commitment, 20 countries, including the US, pledged to end public financing for "unabated" fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022.
Such projects burn fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas, without using technology to capture the CO2 emissions.
Coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change.
What is the coal pledge?
Signatories to the agreement have committed to ending all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally.
They have also agreed to phase out coal power in the 2030s for major economies, and the 2040s for poorer nations, the UK said.
Dozens of organisations also signed up to the pledge, with several major banks agreeing to stop financing the coal industry.
"The end of coal is in sight," UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said.
"The world is moving in the right direction, standing ready to seal coal's fate and embrace the environmental and economic benefits of building a future that is powered by clean energy."
But UK shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said there were "glaring gaps" from China and other large emitters, who have not committed to stop increasing coal use domestically. He also noted that there was nothing on the phasing out of oil and gas.
Mr Miliband said the UK government "has let others off the hook".