Tasneem Essop is the Head of Strategy and Advocacy for the International World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Global Climate and Energy Initiative. This role includes leading the WWF global climate team as Head of Delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sessions.
Prior to joining WWF she held the positions of Provincial Minister for the Environment, Planning and Economic Development in Western Cape and before that, Provincial Minister of Transport, Public Works and Property Management.
In these portfolio’s she was also the Co-Chair of the global Network of Regional Governments on Sustainable Development (NRG4SD) and the Leader of Government Business for the Provincial Development Council in the Western Cape. Whlie she was a Member of the Provincial Legisture of the Western Cape, she also chaired the Association of Public Accounts Committees and was the Spokesperson for Finance and Public Accounts in the Legislature for the African National Congress.
Before becoming a Member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature for the ANC she was the Education Officer for the Congress of Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Western Cape and prior to that the Education and Media Officer for the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU).
She taught at Glendale Senior Secondary School in Mitchells Plain before joining the trade union movement.
She has been a staunch promoter of sustainable development and has piloted a number of new policies for the Western Cape province during her tenure as Provincial Minister, such as the Provincial Spatial Development Framework (PSDF), a Climate Change Response Strategy, a Sustainable Energy Strategy (SES) and Guidelines for Golf Estates, Polo Fields and Polo Estates and the Mobility Strategy that included the Bus Rapid Transit System and non-motorized transport.
She has lectured and written, internationally and domestically, about the impacts of climate change especially on the poor, and, more recently, has become a strong advocate for reaching a multilateral agreement on climate change within the UNFCCC.