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France and Brazil have agreed on a common policy to push industrialized nations toward massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy and Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced the plan Saturday in a joint document.  The agreement urges the world's top carbon-emitting nations, including the United States and China, to significantly curb those emissions by 2050.

The two leaders are calling for cooperation between developed and emerging nations in order to meet international climate change goals.

Brazil pledged Friday to reduce its emissions up to 39 percent by 2020, largely through controlling deforestation.  That pledge was hailed Saturday by the head of the European Union executive as a "potentially decisive step" in the fight against climate change.

World leaders will meet in Copenhagen next month to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The U.S. has not ratified the Kyoto treaty.

The U.N. climate change conference will be held December 7-18, and the U.N. says 40 heads of state have pledged to attend.

U.N. scientists say rich countries must cut carbon emissions by 25-40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, to prevent the earth's temperature from rising at a rate that could trigger climate catastrophe.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.