Ms Essop is currently the Executive Director of Climate Action Network- International. Prior to this she was Head of Climate Strategy and Advocacy for the WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative and was the head of delegation for the WWF team at the sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
She is former Provincial Minister of Environment, Planning and Economic Development and former Provincial Minister of Transport, Public Works and Property Management in the Western Cape.
After the first democratic elections in 1994 she became an ANC Member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature where she served as the ANC’s Spokesperson on Finance and Public Accounts before her appointment as a Member of the Executive Committee in 2001. Before 1994 Tasneem was an anti-apartheid activist involved in youth, union and gender organisations. An educator by profession, she started her career in 1985, teaching English, History and Guidance at Glendale Senior Secondary in Mitchell’s Plain, Western Cape. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Higher Diploma of Education from the University of Cape Town.