Pharrell Williams Brings On His 'Happy' at the UN's General Assembly on Climate Change

Pam WrightLife

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Pharrell Williams has brought his ever-positive attitude and "happy" message on climate change Friday to about 1,200 middle school children at the United Nations General Assembly.

Sponsored by the U.N., the U.N. Foundation and MixRadio, the event celebrated the International Day of Happiness, which was established by the world organization in 2012.

Instead of being a heady message of doom and gloom, the event highlighted a much lighter message that the next generation needs to pay attention to climate change and can make a difference.

"Protecting our planet is fundamental to the pursuit of human happiness," Pharrell said. "We only have one home and there's climate change... If you don't (take) care of your home, you don't have a life, and we have to transition from climate change to climate action."

The "World's Happiest Playlist" and a #HappySoundsLike Twitter campaign, which includes chair Cody Simpson, Stevie Wonder, Ed Sheeran, David Guetta, Rita Ora, John Legend and James Blunt, was launched in tangent with the event.

Prior to the event, Pharrell Williams flipped a switch that lit the Empire State Building a "happy" shade of yellow in observance of the International Day of Happiness.

"The International Day of Happiness has provided an opportunity to open up a real conversation on how we take positive action to battle the real threat climate change," said Robert Skinner, associate director of the U.N. Foundation's New York Office.

Many middle school children attending the event were inspired by Pharrell Williams' positive "happy" message, including
Penelope Danielle Anastasia Latrique, the daughter of a U.N. staff member, who attends the Growing Up Green Charter School, which focuses on climate change.

"Pharrell is inspiring; he makes a happy day happy about the climate," she said.

"What is happening in climate change is affecting young people's lives; this year is very important and the outreach that celebrities have is vital," said Ahmad Alhendawi, the secretary-general's envoy on youth.

Plans were changed when students stormed the stage to snap selfies with their idol, Pharrell Williams, instead of plans to have the singer speak and then dance in the General Assembly's aisles.

Pam Wright